Project Goals and Purpose
The purpose of the
recovery project is to return the buffer site to its vital natural conditions
and functions as nearly as possible . One of the aspects involves reducing
the negative impacts of artificial drainage patterns and sedimentation
project addresses the previously ditched stream corridor which flowed virtually
unimpeded from the landfill to the Wolf Road Prairie wetland.
creates a meandering grassed waterway which filters and regulates waterflow
to a more historic discharge rate. This is accomplished through planting
native species that clarify the water and absorb runoff within the stream
bed and uplands.
On June 9, 1998, 13
permanent photo stations were established to record the conditions of the Middle Fork
Creek and its South Fork Branch and to document the visible changes during the period
of the monitoring. Permanent metal stakes were driven into the ground, and a tripod
was set up and centered over them. The lens height F-stop, and camera angle were
recorded. Black and white film was used, with a 28 mm wide-angle lens; six or seven
images were taken at each location. (Conservation Research Institute 1999 Monitoring
Another aspect involves
revitalizing the savanna understory community and stimulating oak and hickory
regeneration. Spring ephemerals such as wild geranium, wild hyacinth, prairie
trillium and spring beauties are supported as Eurasian grasses are replaced
by native grasses, sedges and wildflowers.
Several aspects of the
streambank restoration and ambient land management are being monitored. These
include (1) vegetation development along the streambank of the South Fork, recorded
by photo documentation and measured by transect sampling, (2) ground cover development
in the bur oak grove, measured by transect sampling, and (3) development of lichens
on tree trunks in the woodland, measured by a modified ‘ transect’ sampling protocol.
In 1998 lichens on the trees in the oak grove were sampled. Because of the slow growth rate of
corticolous lichens, follow-up sampling will not be scheduled again until 2002.
(Conservation Research Institute 1999 Monitoring
Finally, the project
creates prairie gardens which propagate native plants with gene pools
indigenous to the Wolf Road Prairie Eco-Region.
The combined impact
of stream enhancement, savanna recovery and protection of genetic integrity
enlarges the Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve as recommended by natural