Conservation Log: An Update on Our Progress

 

Dear supporters of HeartLands Conservancy,

It’s time for part two of our Conservation Log, where we provide an update on the progress of our efforts during the Poag Restoration Project.

To ensure we can track the project’s progress, we established 13 photo monitoring points, capturing before-and-after images of each step of the restoration process. We are delighted to report that the brush hogging phase is complete, and the photographs are already providing essential information about the site.

The before photos show a dormant landscape with dominant shades of brown. In contrast, the after photos reveal that some plants remain green throughout the year. Unfortunately, most of the green in the after photos comes from non-native cool season grasses that were introduced to the property for livestock forage or turf grass. These grasses can slow down or even prevent the re-establishment of native prairie species, which is why our next step is to terminate them using herbicides.

We’ll discuss the use of herbicides in more detail in a future conservation log, but the brush hogging allowed us to use less herbicide. Brush hogging exposed subtle slopes on the site and remnants from previous land use, such as old fences. Having a clearer view of the microtopography and hazards will help us prevent damage to equipment in subsequent steps of the restoration.

Our team took a slow and deliberate approach to brush hogging, which helped expose these remnants and maintain the site’s overall health. It was a crucial first step in restoring the Poag Sand Prairie to its former glory.

As we move forward, we’ll keep monitoring the site and updating you on our progress. Thanks to your support, we’re confident that we’ll be able to bring this land back to life and restore its vital role in the local ecosystem.

Stay tuned for more updates, and as always, thank you for your continued support.

Science,

Eric Wright
Land Conservation Manager, HeartLands Conservancy

The Poag Sand Prairie Restoration Project was paid for in part by the Edwardsville Community Foundation Grant. Thank you for your generosity and commitment to preserving our natural spaces!

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