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“What Do You Do All Winter?”

Working at Prairie Restorations, Inc., we are often asked this simple question: “What do you do all winter?” It is fair question, given the nature of our work. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, there is a lot going on this time of year…

During much of the winter, our services crews are still out in the field working on projects. Most of this involves working in the woods, removing buckthorn and other invasive woody species on both public and private properties. Other types of work include stream restoration projects, where frozen soil is needed in order to excavate new stream channels. We work closely with excavators helping to create the new streambanks using various bioengineering techniques. In the spring, we return to the sites and plant a wide array of live plant materials to help stabilize the soil and create an ecologically healthy landscape. Our Watertown office is about start on such a project called Arden Park in the city of Edina.

The Products Department spends the winter months “cleaning” the seed that was harvested the previous fall. This process includes removing the chaff and other debris from the seed, bagging the cleaned product, and then sending off samples to independent labs for testing. In the plant world, seedlings are “started” in the propagation greenhouse, typically in February, so that the plants will be ready to go come May 1st. It’s always a treat to visit this greenhouse in February where the temps are very balmy!

In Sales and Marketing, there is a lot going on this time of year as well. Proposals are being written for potential new projects in the upcoming season. We also “bid” on a lot of restoration projects that are generated by various entities including cities, non-profits, watershed districts and commercial businesses. The Arden Park project mentioned above is an example of public sector project that was “out for bid” that we were fortunate to land. In marketing, we are busy creating our strategy for the upcoming year and trying to determine how to best reach our potential customers. I will say, that in my 21 years working at PRI, there has never been more interest than there is now in restoring the landscape!

So that’s just a small look into what really goes on here at PRI during the long winter months. Enjoy the season – spring will be here before we know it!

Mike Evenocheck
Director of Sales and Marketing
Prairie Restorations, Inc.

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