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Burns Prairie Restoration

Plant community restoration work at Burns Prairie is ongoing. The Preserve is comprised of 12.25 acres of prairie, wetlands and woodland in Galien Township. The restoration project has converted a 10-acre crop field to native prairie grasses and wildflowers and created approximately an acre of restored wetland in a seasonal drainage area.

In 2012, Chikaming Open Lands was granted federal assistance from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) through its Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program to restore the Burns acreage to native prairie and wetlands. The purpose of the project is to restore and create prairie and wetland habitat for grassland birds as well as other wildlife. It typically takes three to five years or more for a self-sustaining prairie to become established from seed.

To date, construction of two berms that slow water flowing through the seasonal drainage area on the property have been completed. Ponding of water behind these berms will create seasonal wetlands. In the prairie area, the site was seeded with native prairie grasses and wildflowers. Now in its second year of establishing the prairie, we have observed an abundance of native wildflowers in bloom, as well as native prairie grasses.