Attention: Poag Sand Prairie Closed in July for Restoration

Poag Sand Prairie in Edwardsville will be closed to the public throughout July for prairie restoration work.

Volunteers, conservation staff, and contractors have worked hard for several years at the prairie to remove invasive plants from this former homestead and bring back the sand prairie.

Unfortunately, the invasive plants are currently winning the battle. At last estimation, 65% of the prairie habitat was invasive or undesirable plants. Before losing the battle completely, we made a difficult decision to do a mow early last month. 

Mowing at this time will prevent the invasive species from reseeding and allow sunlight and moisture to reach native plants. This helps the native plants focus their energy on root development, resulting in stronger growth next season. An ecological contractor will follow up with work to eradicate what we can of the invasive plants and later reseed the prairie. This will also help prepare for future wetland creation for the Illinois Chorus Frogs.

We realize some good, native plants were mowed, too. This was unavoidable. Some milkweeds were mowed in error. Luckily, those plants will come back and have a better chance of survival without the competing invasives, like Johnson grass.

We have heard from several folks that you were disappointed to find a mowed prairie when you visited. We recognize that we failed to communicate about the mow ahead of time, and sincerely apologize for that. We’ll do better.

We look forward to sharing the results and better prairie habitat with you.

If you have any questions or would like to assist with a future volunteer stewardship day at Poag Sand Priaire, please contact Land Conservation Manager, Anna McAtee at anna.mcatee@heartlandsconservancy.org or call (618) 566-4451 ex 23.

Learn more about Poag Sand Prairie here.