Save The Prairie Society


History of the Restoration Site

Role of Buffer Sites in Preserving Biodiversity

Project Goals and Purpose
  --Stream Corridor
  --Savanna Recovery
  --Prairie Garden
  --Prairie Triangle

Restoration Strategy and Methods

Site Biodiversity

Education and Outreach

Project Participants

Project Goals and Purpose

The purpose of the recovery project is to return the buffer site to its vital natural conditions and functions as nearly as possible . One of the aspects involves reducing the negative impacts of artificial drainage patterns and sedimentation buildup . 

The project addresses the previously ditched stream corridor which flowed virtually unimpeded from the landfill to the Wolf Road Prairie wetland. 

The restoration creates a meandering grassed waterway which filters and regulates waterflow to a more historic discharge rate. This is accomplished through planting native species that clarify the water and absorb runoff within the stream bed and uplands. 

“On June 9, 1998, 13 permanent photo stations were established to record the conditions of the Middle Fork Creek and its South Fork Branch and to document the visible changes during the period of the monitoring. Permanent metal stakes were driven into the ground, and a tripod was set up and centered over them. The lens height F-stop, and camera angle were recorded. Black and white film was used, with a 28 mm wide-angle lens; six or seven images were taken at each location.” (Conservation Research Institute 1999 Monitoring Report.) 

Another aspect involves revitalizing the savanna understory community and stimulating oak and hickory regeneration. Spring ephemerals such as wild geranium, wild hyacinth, prairie trillium and spring beauties are supported as Eurasian grasses are replaced by native grasses, sedges and wildflowers. 

“Several aspects of the streambank restoration and ambient land management are being monitored. These include (1) vegetation development along the streambank of the South Fork, recorded by photo documentation and measured by transect sampling, (2) ground cover development in the bur oak grove, measured by transect sampling, and (3) development of lichens on tree trunks in the woodland, measured by a modified ‘ transect’ sampling protocol. In 1998 lichens on the trees in the oak grove were sampled. Because of the slow growth rate of corticolous lichens, follow-up sampling will not be scheduled again until 2002.” (Conservation Research Institute 1999 Monitoring Report.) 

Finally, the project creates prairie “gardens” which propagate native plants with gene pools indigenous to the Wolf Road Prairie Eco-Region. 

The combined impact of stream enhancement, savanna recovery and protection of genetic integrity enlarges the Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve as recommended by natural area experts.