2009: LIP Project
Remnant Oak Savanna and Prairie Enhancement (York Township, Green County)
Project Acreage: 21
Prairie Indian plantain
Yellow giant hyssop
Project Goal and Site Description:
This project will reduce invasive species and brush abundance to improve habitat quality for at-risk grassland and savanna birds and plants and to promote oak regeneration. A secondary goal is to provide public education on restoration and management methods and at risk flora and fauna.
The 21-acres are a mixture of remnant oak savanna (11 acres), remnant dry-mesic prairie (3 acres) and cool season grass pasture (4 acres) that has been idle for more than 30 years. An additional 3 acres are 30-year-old white pine plantings located along old erosion gullies. The cool season grasses are short and sparse because of the thin, dry soil, which has allowed numerous prairie species to survive. The conifers are 15 to 25 feet tall.
Invasive species control, brushing and limited burning, initiated in 2004, have revealed American gromwell (special concern), pasque flower, numerous shooting star, Illinois tick trefoil, the uncommon plains muhly grass (Muhlenbergia cuspidata) and many other native plant species. Unfortunately, invasive species, such as crown vetch, garlic mustard, hedge parsley, wild parsnip, and knapweed, and dense shrub cover (primarily prickly ash and honeysuckle) in some areas puts the native species at risk.