Restoration Project Updates
Updated: Apr 8
In the last newsletter we shared our plans on an oak savanna restoration project between the Mineral St. and Keystone Pkwy. trailheads. This area, about 600 feet long, has been prepared for restoration over the last few years. We’re happy to report exciting progress in the area! In late fall, Southwest Landscaping LLC planted three new oak trees in the plot. As the project progresses, we’ll plant three more oak trees in sparse clusters, which is consistent with a typical oak savanna habitat.
In December, the Ecology Committee members gathered on a cold, wet day to prepare a seed mix and spread it along the entirety of the area. We do this in the winter because many perennial, native seeds require a period of cold, moist conditions to germinate (called a cold stratification period). We hope to see a diverse mix of grasses and wildflowers germinating there in the spring. However, we know that many of our native species require more than one cold stratification period to germinate. Volunteer crews will continue to keep the area mowed in the spring and summer to keep annual weeds at bay and give our native species a good chance at survival.
Another restoration site the PCA has been working on is situated off of Valley Rd. behind Domino’s. Named “Grizzly Flats” for the roller rink that once stood in its spot, this area is about 0.15 acres. PCA volunteers and city crews cleared it of woody species and killed off annual weeds in 2021. In December we also re-seeded this area with native prairie seeds. We will also monitor this area closely for weeds as they come up in the spring and summer.
Our volunteer crews also made great progress in invasive honeysuckle eradication along the trail in 2021. Over the fall and winter, crews focused on removing shrubs on the south side of the trail between the Mineral St. and Keystone Pkwy trailheads. This new bare ground was also re-seeded with a mix of native grasses and wildflowers. Honeysuckle is a persistent species, and we plan on carrying out follow-up treatment of re-sprouting shrubs in the area in 2022. Amongst all these projects, we spread about 15 lbs of native seeds along the trail in December!