Tom's Blog

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Grassland Research Network meeting

This week Kathie and I are attending a meeting of the Grassland Research Network at the U.W. Madison Arboretum. Folks at this meeting are from various Midwest states plus a number of local practitioners. All are involved in planting or maintaining prairies. Many of the people are from Nature Conservancy offices in various states.

The meeting is focusing on "Lessons Learned" from past efforts at prairie planting. The location at the Arboretum is appropriate since this organization has the two oldest restored prairies in the U.S., the Curtis and Greene Prairies (which we visited).

The Tuesday morning session presented information on some of the oldest restored prairies in the U.S. We then went on a field trip to several prairie restorations in the Madison/Dane County area. The visits were to an extensive Dane County prairie restoration area (Badger Prairie), Pleasant Valley Conservancy, and Swamplovers. (There were about 65 attendants, a full bus load plus a few trailing cars.)

At Pleasant Valley Conservancy, Kathie and I led the participants through two of our oldest prairie restorations (Pocket and Toby's), then to a recent restoration (Ridge Prairie), and finally to our East Basin restoration, which has been cleared but not yet planted (expected planting is in November of this year). We also gave the attendants a brief idea of our savanna restorations, and ended with a walk along our south-facing slope, where they were able to see our work restoring some large prairie remnants.

This meeting is being very valuable to us, and the questions we are getting from the participants give us considerable insight into what we are doing right (or wrong). We are also enjoying meeting people from other states and learning of their restoration successes.


Blogger James C. Trager said...


It was good to meet you and Katie at this workshop, and I have beautiful recollections of your prairie and savanna restorations. I still haven't gotten around to writing up a summary of what was discussed and presented at this valuable meeting, but hope to quite soon. I thought it might be useful to your readers to include a URL for the Grassland Restoration Network


September 3, 2008 at 12:48 PM  

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