Stop 5 — Restoration Activity
By Mark Jordan, VOLUNTEER LAND STEWARD
I have been a land steward for the Stone Barn Savanna unit since 2011. I would like to explain some of the work I have completed and some goals I have for future restoration. As you hike through the unit I steward, remember that the restoration here is not complete, but a work in progress.
How was this land previously used?
Historically, the land in the woodlands, savannas and restored prairies at Stone Barn Savanna was used for cattle grazing and row crops. During this time there was likely no fire or other ecological management on the site. As a result, a variety of exotic and invasive plant species were able to take hold and thrive in major sections. Areas I recall from my youth as being open and meadow–like, are now impenetrable due to infestation by honeysuckle, multiflora rose and other nonnative flora.
The area behind you at Stop 4 (the tall St. Peter’s Sandstone outcropping) overlooks a restored hillside. A couple years ago, this area was dominated by honeysuckle, most of which we have removed. My goal for this area is to continue to remove the nonnative species and work towards the establishment of an oak savanna community.
As you continue toward the next stop, look carefully towards the wooded area on your left, for this is where a lot of my current work is taking place. Parts of this area remain overgrown, with species not found in healthy woodlands. The ongoing work in this area includes:
The work for this unit has been done by myself, by the crew of Nachusa Grasslands and by various other volunteer stewards.
The long–term goal for this section and all of Tellabs is to aid the recovery of the native oak, woodland and prairie communities by collecting and planting seeds appropriate for these environments. The current work is in preparation for the seeding.
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