Dec. 3, 2021

Growing a preserve

So many sneezes and itches. So why have I spent more than a few hours planting the stuff of allergies? Ives Preserve is 700 acres of fens, woods, old farm fields, and what was once a gravel pit. Initially the fields were leased for farming. Over the years the fields and pit have gradually gone back to nature, often in unnatural ways. We have gathered seed and planted them with locally native species, one plot at a time. Now most of those open areas are tall grass prairie. There's a loose rule that the imported species have to occur within 15 miles of the preserve. There's an old rail line that runs along the west edge of the property, and a lot of native prairie plants grow there. Those species were the primary ones initially used to populate new prairies. This Indian grass was one of them. The other day I mentioned bringing strict blue-eyed grass to Ives. It grows within 15 miles (barely), so that would not be a violation.