Restoration at work

Woman pouring prairie seeds

Volunteer Sara Lupkas preparing prairie seeds at Johnson preserve.

Legacy’s stewardship team and volunteer Sara Lupkas spent October 26 tossing handfuls of fluffy white and tiny brown seeds at the Lloyd and Mabel Johnson Preserve’s prairie restoration site, 15-acres of former farmland.

Native grasses and wildflowers—from seeds collected at a Legacy conservation easement, at the Reichert Nature Preserve, and at the planted prairie communities at Ann Arbor Skyline High School—are slowly taking the place of soybeans and corn. Seeds were harvested from multiple locations to increase species diversity in the prairie. The different species will work together to create a thriving and resilient prairie community.

The project began in 2016 and is showing signs of taking root. Some of the previously planted native forbs, such as black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), yellow coneflower (Ratibida pinnata), and New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae), sprouted through the summer and fall of 2017. Legacy Land Steward Allene Smith says she’ll continue monitoring the prairie and hopes to see the latest plantings come up next spring or summer.

The stewardship team will add seeds to the prairie every year, with seed collection taking place September through November. Groups interested in volunteering for future seed collection workdays should email or call 734-302-5263. Visit our volunteer page for more information.

Learn more about our prairie restoration project here.

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