Life Science II Prairie Garden
In 2008 this small garden was planted in at the entrance to the Life Science II building on campus. A diverse array of native grassland species were planted, with the goal that this garden would serve as an educational tool and an aesthetic improvement. Replacing lawn grass with native species should improve soil structure, water and nutrient management, and support a greater diversity of animal species.
CEHS/Campus Lake Prairie
This project was begun in 2009 when the club received an Illinois Rain Garden Initiative grant to plant native species into an area that collects rainfall. A sloped area on campus that drains into Campus Lake was chosen for the project. The lawn was removed in 2009 and native species were sown. The area was expanded in 2010, and the planting now encompasses wet, mesic, and savanna grassland types. Also in 2010 a path and benches were added by a local boy scout to allow more access to the prairie. Over all, we have planted more 80 native species at the site, and have burned it each year to promote their establishment.
In May of 2011, the Restoration Club received an award from the Green Fund to begin restoration of a 2-acre portion of Campus Woods adjacent to CEHS Prairie. Removal of invasive plants including bush honeysuckle, winter creeper, autumn olive, etc. have taken place in the last few months to prepare the site. We hope to burn the area with the help of the Fire Dawgs this spring (2012) and seed the area with mix of native grasses and forbs that will deter further invasive plant establishment and growth.
Here’s a map of our CEHS Prairie and Campus Woods restorations. Feel free to check them out! We are currently working on placing permanent signs.