If you look at old aerial photos of the Věčný property, you’ll notice about three acres in the southwest corner that form a flat, open meadow. In the 1990s, shrubs started to take over. By 2021, it was a mess of invasive grasses, invasive shrubs, and a handful of invasive trees.
Thanks to some generous donors, we had the resources to restore the site and create an ecologically healthy, diverse prairie. We spent a year cutting honeysuckle and autumn olive shrubs. We dropped a handful of mulberry and cork amur trees. We piled and burned the debris. Volunteers logged hundreds of hours alongside us, as we worked to rid the site of invasive species. That was the hard part.
The fun part began this week as we started planting the meadow. Fall planting allows the seeds to naturally overwinter and germinate in the spring. It will still take 3 to 5 years to noticeably appreciate the prairie and its diversity. Prairie plants spend the first few years developing the massive root systems that will stabilize and ultimately build the soil.
This new prairie, named in recognition of restorationist David Novak, has seeds from 181 different native plant species in the mix (See full list of species below). The high diversity will create a stable ecosystem over time, and support a wide array of animals.
A new trail around the prairie is planned to be ready for public use early in 2023. By mid-summer 2023 we plan to have a new trail through the adjacent woods that will increase guests’ ability to connect with nature on the Věčný property. This would be a wonderful opportunity for you to visit a new prairie and watch how it develops over time.
The David Novak Prairie was dedicated on November 8th, 2022.
Full Seed List for Prairie Planting
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