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! We use a combination of hands- on experience and scientific research. This means lots and lots of interesting things are happening at Driftless Prairies and we discover successful new techniques regularly. 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. Prairie restoration is so much work but so much fun!!

In January 2008, we planted the first prairie on our land 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. In 2016, we purchased another 20 acres which include 2 prairies we originally planted, remnant prairie, and remnant oak 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 garden (sorta), we make soap & lotion, 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. But mostly we depend on our local veggies growers to keep us fed!

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