Best Practices for Native Prairie Management

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2009 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund
Minnesota Recreation and Park Association
Recipient Type
Non-Profit Business/Entity
Start Date
July 2008
End Date
June 2010
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2008, Chp. 367, Sec. 2, Subd. 03o
Appropriation Language

$45,000 is from the trust fund to the commissioner of natural resources for an agreement with the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association to provide information on best practices for native prairie management through field demonstrations, regional workshops, and the Web.

2009 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Measurable Outcome(s)

Click on "Final Report" under "Project Details".

Project Overview

Overall Project Outcomes and Results
The 2004 LCMR Parks Study and the 2003-2008 State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) recommended better coordination among Minnesota's outdoor recreation providers. This project addressed these recommendations by engaging public and private outdoor recreation leaders to transform better coordination into shared knowledge and practices.

Two native prairie demonstration projects will identify best management practices and maintenance methodologies as the sites continue to mature. The first native prairie demonstration area is located within Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve in East Bethel, Minnesota. One-half of the area was mowed, and one-half was burned prior to seeding. This 23-acre demonstration area features five treatments: burn/broadcast seed; burn/drill seed; mow/broadcast seed; mow/drill seed; and forb plantings.

The second native prairie demonstration project is located within two city parks in Hutchinson, Minnesota. The two areas' objectives were to restore turf back to native prairie, and to further an oak savanna restoration. This approximately 10-acre demonstration area (total acreage within the two sites) features four treatments: drill seed near lowland river area; broadcast seed near high-ground river area; hand-seed; and over-seeding of a continued restoration project.

Three regional workshops were conducted to exchange information and techniques used during the demonstrations, and overall native prairie best practices. The first regional workshop focused on native prairie impacts, research, and reconnecting children to nature. Session content included biodiversity and its impacts on prairie ecosystems; bioenergy; climate; productivity and resistance to drought, disease, and pests; and reconnecting children with the native environment by teaching them the value of the native prairies, lands, and waterways.

The second regional workshop was designed to gather a cross-section of professionals to discuss strategies and solutions for best practices in native prairie management. Session content included best practices in native prairie management from numerous perspectives: engineering, wildlife, natural resources, park resources, and water resources. Workshop presenters also provided information on partnerships, stormwater program and vegetation, prairie maintenance, prairie seed installation, and forestry inventories.

The third regional workshop centered on small and large suburban native prairie areas. Session content included prairie and native plant/tree protection and restoration; and agricultural development that has been one of the largest sources of local habitat removal with current efforts to restore these prairies to their original native habitats. Workshop presenters also provided information on efforts to convert 600 acres of former agricultural land to native prairie and wetland.

Projects Results Use and Dissemination
The two demonstration areas were components of two of the regional workshops to share the site preparation, seed selection, and methodology information with participants. Project results have been provided within the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association's 2009 annual report, and Minnesota's state report during National Recreation and Park Association meetings.

Additionally, project updates are included on the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association's website and the best practices website. Further project results dissemination will be shared during Minnesota Recreation and Park Association educational conferences and trainings.

For more information, visit

Project Details