Prairie restoration continues at Great South Woods


For the News-Tribune



Volunteers planted seeds this spring at the Oberlin Great South Woods property on Hamilton Street near the city recreation complex and plan to return Sept. 23.


Courtesy photo

After a successful planting this spring, Oberlin College students and local residents will return to the Oberlin Great South Woods property.

Prairie restoration efforts will continue at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 23.

Students and members of the Oberlin College track and field team will plant about 500 wildflower plants. The planting site is located on Hamilton Street near the Oberlin ball fields and the Ramsey right of way.

Students and community volunteers planted two acres of prairie seed in April.

Kate Pilacky, Firelands associate field director for the Land Conservancy, was impressed with the planting effort and growth she’s seen.

“The prairie seeds took off this summer,” she said. “We’re hoping for continued success as we plant approximately 200 milkweed seedlings for monarch butterflies and an additional 300 native wildflowers for all pollinators this fall.”

Pilacky said prairie ecosystems attract a diversity of wildlife as habitat for grassland birds and key pollinating insects such as bees, butterflies, and ants. More grassland habitats have disappeared than any other habitat type on the continent because of sprawl, climate change, and conversion to cropland and forest.

Communities of pollinators and birds are tied to these rich prairie habitats and they are losing huge portions of their homes.

Interested community members are invited to volunteer with the planting. Volunteers should call Pilacky at 440-774-4226 to confirm their attendance no later than Wednesday, Sept. 21. Parking is available at the Oberlin Recreation Complex.

The 63-acre Oberlin Great South Woods property, which was targeted for conservation for more than a decade, was acquired by the Land Conservancy in October 2015.

The site boasts high quality forests, wetlands, and a sedge meadow as well as 30 acres of previously farmed land.

In addition to significant Clean Ohio Conservation Fund grant funds secured by Western Reserve Land Conservancy to acquire the property, additional funding from the Oberlin College Green Ecological Design and General Efficiency Fund helped make the project possible.

In October, the Land Conservancy will partner with Oberlin Rotary International and Nordson Corporation volunteers to plant several trees on the site.

Volunteers planted seeds this spring at the Oberlin Great South Woods property on Hamilton Street near the city recreation complex and plan to return Sept. 23.
http://www.theoberlinnewstribune.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/44/2017/09/web1_OberlinPlanting_4.2017.jpgVolunteers planted seeds this spring at the Oberlin Great South Woods property on Hamilton Street near the city recreation complex and plan to return Sept. 23.

Courtesy photo

For the News-Tribune