Driftless Prairies: Native Habitat Restoration

Nature inspires awe!

Tallgrass prairie restoration is art and science

Life is a journey! So much to learn!!

Environmental management activities and techniques for restoring native tallgrass prairie are endless and diverse! Many of them are a combination of hands on experience and scientific research. This means lots and lots of interesting things are happening here at Driftless Prairies and we keep discovering successful new techniques. It seemed a shame to keep these to ourselves, hence the creation of this site. We have a great time learning about the world around us and experimenting with new things.  Life truly is a journey!

We have 20 acres of restored prairies, 5 acres of remnant prairies, 5 acres of remnant savanna, and 10 acres of woods which we have cleared of invasive species (plants and trees) and we continue to monitor. Tallgrass prairie restortion is so much work but so much fun!!

In January 2008, we planted the first tallgrass prairie and since we have referred to it as the 5-Acre Prairie for years, that’s what we named it! In 2010, we planted the Berry Prairie, a 3.5 acre area. It is so named because there were native berry bushes along the edge, which inspired us to plant a few more.  We are calling the prairie planted in 2014 the Deer Camp Prairie because it is between two areas set aside for hunting. We recently purchased another 20 acres which include 2 prairies we originally planted and remnant prairie and savanna. We are super excited to have the opportunity to restore these!

Most of our work is in ecological restoration and land management but we also have homesteading tendencies. We have bee hives on the property, we garden, we make soap & lotion, we forage, and we cook & can. Our homesteading tendencies stem from our desire to have quality products with natural ingredients and as an offshoot of the restoration work.

Our ecological restoration work includes many aspects, one being plant propagation.  We have successfully propagated several threatened and endangered species and have introduced them back to the land. This is part of our land management plan; decrease the invasive species and increase biodiversity. This simple one-sentence plan has been a very effective at keeping us focused and on track.

This work will be a labor of love for years to come. I hope you can learn from our journey and if you post comments, we hope to learn from you as well!

Tallgrass prairie in the driftless area

Two of the prairies in bloom, July 2015