* Aquatic-Upland Prairie Restoration

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Overall Goal: Improve the quality of the habitat at the site by increasing biodiversity through the restoration of aquatic and upland vegetation.

Project Goal 1: Convert 16.5 acres from brome grass to DNR prairie specialist approved native upland mix.

Project Goal 2: Remove accumulated sediment from 4.8 wetland basin acres and implement an aquatic planting of 0.6 acres.

  • Funded through Conservation Partners Legacy Grant program administered by the DNR
  • Timeframe - January 30, 2013, to June 30, 2016
  • Grant funds - $23,527.38
  • Inkind match (HLWD and partners) - $5,765.07
  • Total project cost - $29,292.45

 Weather conditions in 2012 were extremely dry. Had the contract been issued before freeze-up, excavation could have been done in the fall or early winter. Because of spring and summer rainfall, there is water in the pool area. It is unlikely that excavation will be possible in the entire project site. The Accomplishment Timeline Table 1 does not provide adequate space to include all of the planned milestones and accomplishments identified in the grant work plan. 

  Ross Behrends resigned his position effective December 31, 2013. Catherine Wegehaupt was hired as Watershed Technician on January 1, 2014. She serves as project lead. The area disturbed during the sediment removal was reseeded to an approved prairie mix on June 10, 2014. Early fall provide the dry period we needed to complete the sediment removal. Despite not being as dry as we hoped the contractor was able to clean the majority of the accumulated sediment to allow for the aquatic restoration in 2014. 

  Because there were funds remaining in the native seed line item, Catherine Wegehaupt worked with Jessica Lee to transfer funds from the aquatic seed line item to the aquatic plant line item. To assure a higher success rate, aquatic plant plugs were used instead of aquatic plant seed. The plant plugs for the aquatic seeding arrived on July 28, 2014. The plugs were planted on July 28 and July 29, 2014.

 Catherine Wegehaupt did a site check on April 22, 2015. The aquatic plantings showed significant growth. They have well established since the August 2014 planting. For weed maintenance in 2015, the summer interns and Catherine Wegehaupt conducted spot spraying where the burn and seeding took place. Mostly Canadian Thistles, Sweet Clover, and brome were identified. Some successful plant species that we identified on July 28, 2015 included: Big Blue Stem, Purple Prairie Clover, Black-eyed Susan, Heath Aster, Swamp Milkweed, and Little Blue Stem.

   Catherine Wegehaupt, summer interns Chloe Evenson and Cole Sinnamon, and four Minnesota Conservation Corps crew members did invasive weed maintenance on June 28, 2016. The entire property was spot sprayed for unwanted vegetation. The most common included Canadian Thistles, Sweet Clover, and brome. Reed canary is still present in the low ground around the stream. Over 20 native species were identified throughout the property. The most prevalent were Big Blue Stem, Purple Prairie Clover, Black-eyed Susan, Indian Grass, Heath Aster, Swamp and Common Milkweed, and Little Blue Stem. Some others found were: Porcupine Grass, Panic Grass, Prairie Phlox, Grey-headed Coneflower, Stiff Goldenrod, Heart-leaved Alexanders, Golden Alexanders, Canada Goldenrod, and Horse Tail. The aquatic plantings that were installed in 2014 were over four feet tall and very well established.