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Prairie Restoration for Dummies

I’ve learned a lot over the last 3 years working here, with still so much more to learn, but hopefully I’m not a “prairie dummy” anymore. 2008, our first spring living on our little hobby farm, better known at that time as ‘little dump on the prairie’, I looked south out the window one afternoon and saw black smoke billowing from Carleton hill (near Northfield, MN). I immediately thought there was a wild fire and I should probably call 911. Luckily, my neighbor, a wise old farmer from down the road, stopped in and I told him...

Can’t Fight Mother Nature!

Bruce Margie 9-8Winter is hanging on this year for a bit longer than usual. This week I’ve seen Great Blue Herons & Sand Hill Cranes back from migration & walking on frozen ponds, wishing there were some frogs & fish instead of cold & ice. This is the time of the season that we would like to begin our prairie burning season and dormant mowings, but we still have snow cover and another round of heavy snow coming in the next couple of days. We are however keeping busy with finishing...

It’s not too late…….

Frosty PrairieJust because it is cold outside doesn’t mean you have to forget about that native landscape you’ve been thinking about. Now, before the snow really starts to pile up, is a great time to have one of our experienced staff members out to assess your site and prepare a restoration plan for next year. We will meet with you to discuss your vision and goals for your property. We will then create a plan that is tailored to your site’s specific soil types, moisture and sunlight levels, and also...

Planting MN Native Trees and Shrubs

I just came home from a seven day trip marking my 29th year of deer hunting in Kabetogoma State Forest. Sitting in a tree stand for 8 hours a day can be a trying experience.  Luckily, there always seems to be things of interest that occupy my time.  A red squirrel chattering from the top of a pine where it is dropping cones to be cached for consumption another day; gray jays landing on branches inches away from me in hopes of stealing...

Busy Restoring Native Plant Communities in Scandia, MN

Summer has officially begun this week and I am busy here at Prairie Resto…seeding and planting of new projects is under way, preparation for future projects is under way, looking back at last year’s projects to check progress & assess this year’s maintenance needs…there is lots to keep us going here at our Scandia Service Office this time of year. And with good reason: native landscapes are a sound approach to caring for your land. Small city lots have room for prairie...

Native Woodland Plants in Mille Lacs County

Spring has sprung, at long last! Trillium grandiflorum As the Woodland Plant Specialist at Prairie Resto, I have the immense pleasure of monitoring a remnant woodland property that we fondly call ‘The Trillium Woods.’  This week I took my first trip out to this Basswood forest to observe and take inventory of the diverse group of native flowers, grasses, and sedges from which we collect our local origin, woodland seed – and it was glorious! The signs of spring were teeming with each step. ...

Restoring Native Plant Communities in St. Louis Park

In the winter of 2008 and summer of 2009, Prairie Restorations, Inc. was involved with an important and unique restoration project for Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park, MN.  The Minnehaha Creek, where it runs through the hospital grounds, was re-meandered in order to more closely resemble its original course.  Many years ago, streams were often straightened in order to more efficiently drain water from the land for farming and development purposes.  By adding the curves back in (re-meandering), the water flow is slowed, naturally allowing pollutants and sediment to...

Biomass Energy and Prairies

I recently had the pleasure of listening to Paul Hawkin speak on the topic of energy.  Paul has spent much of his life developing ecologically sustainable businesses and exploring the concept of sustainability in general.   His vision of the future is one that will include a much reduced supply of “easy” energy such as oil, coal and gas.  Renewables will become more important and we will need to be more efficient and conservative with what we have.    At PRI we know that ecological restorations will be a significant part of the energy future.  After all, in a most...
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