Prairie Ecosystem Restoration

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2009 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund
Martin County Soil and Water Conservation District
Recipient Type
Local/Regional Government
Start Date
July 2008
End Date
June 2010
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2008, Chp. 367, Sec. 2, Subd. 03n
Appropriation Language

$80,000 is from the trust fund to the Board of Water and Soil Resources for an agreement with the Martin County Soil and Water Conservation District to collect and propagate local ecotype native plant materials from prairie remnants for establishment on lands with perpetual conservation protection in Martin County. If the Martin County Soil and Water Conservation District sells seeds or plants that were collected or propagated using money from this appropriation, the net proceeds of the sale must be repaid to the trust fund.

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 Outcome and Results
This project's focus was to collect seed and plant materials from 50 species of local ecotype native plants from 50 vulnerable prairie remnants and then re-seed or plant them on 1,000 acres or more of protected easements. By increasing the plant diversity in our native prairies we aimed to improve their natural functions and provide a better habitat for our insects, birds, and mammals. Additionally, the seeds collected are being used as foundation seed and their origination followed according to MN Crop Improvement Association's (MCIA) "Yellow Tag" program.

Letters were received from 31 landowners and 18 County Townships giving us permission to conduct native plant inventories and then collect seed and plant materials. MCIA was contracted to perform site inspections, identification, and verification of native species in order for the seeds collected to maintain their "Yellow Tag" eligibility. We received an overwhelming response for us to plant on 1589 acres. Many properties had several areas in which we planted seed or seedling plugs which we successfully grew.

In June 2009 four interns were hired and put to work learning plant and seed identification and seed stratification requirements. Daily tasks included identifying prairie remnants or sites with local ecotype native species, planting trays, using GPS to mark species locations on large sites, placing no mow signs in selected ditches, shelling and cataloguing seed types and amounts collected. Seeds were collected from 104 different species of which 34 species could be considered at-risk for further decline.

Projects Results Use and Dissemination
Articles were published in Martin SWCD's Conservation Update and several radio spots were aired discussing this project to update county residents on our progress. We also set up information booths at various community events and we always had photographs and talked about what we were doing with the project.

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Project Details