Register for the 2017 Grassland Restoration Network Now!

This year’s Grassland Restoration Network meeting will be July 11 and 12 at Konza Prairie near Manhattan, Kansas.  Some of you have attended these annual meetings in the past (we hosted last year’s meeting here at the Platte River Prairies in Nebraska).  For those of you who haven’t, they are informal meetings where we visit a site and learn about the challenges and successes of conducting prairie restoration work, especially in the context of using restoration as a conservation strategy.  My favorite aspect of the meetings is that they allow a lot of time to talk with people grappling with the same kinds of issues we are, and I always come away with new ideas and energy.

These research plots at Konza show a pretty stark difference between a couple different fire frequency treatments…

This year’s meeting will be a little different than most.  We will be hearing from scientists working with the Konza Long Term Ecological Research site on a variety of topics that will relate both to prairie restoration and to prairie conservation and ecology more broadly.  I’m sure we’ll have vigorous discussions about how to apply what they’re learning across various geographies.  Some of their research focuses specifically on restoring grasslands through seeding, but we’ll also talk about woody invasion, the impacts of fire and grazing on prairies, and much more.  However, we will still provide plenty of time for conversation about what each of us is learning at our own sites in terms of seeding rates, invasive species challenges, monitoring, and long-term management.

If you’re interested in joining us, you can find more information on the agenda and registration procedure HERE.  I hope to see you there!

I visited Konza Prairie a few years ago with our Hubbard Fellows and wrote three blog posts about some of our discussions, which I found fascinating.  You can revisit those by following the links below:

Post #1

Post #2

Post #3

Save the Date – Grassland Restoration Network July 11-12, 2017

The Grassland Restoration Network is a loose affiliation of people trying to use prairie restoration (reconstruction) as a way to rebuild, conserve and sustain grassland ecosystems.  Each year, we put on a workshop to share ideas, techniques, research results, and stories with other.  Workshops are hosted by a different site each year, giving us the opportunity to visit a range of projects over the years.  We were happy to host the workshop here in Nebraska in 2016.

A discussion in front of cardinal flower and a restored wetland during the 2016 Grassland Restoration Network at The Nature Conservancy's Platte River Prairies.

A discussion in front of cardinal flower and a restored wetland during the 2016 Grassland Restoration Network at The Nature Conservancy’s Platte River Prairies.

The 2017 workshop will be held at Konza Prairie (Kansas) on July 11-12, 2017.  This will be a great opportunity to learn from the intensive and impressive array of prairie research going on at this Kansas State University research site.  They have done research specifically on prairie restoration, but also a lot of other work that relates closely to the kinds of challenges faced by those of us working to restore grasslands.  The Hubbard Fellows and I made a trip to Konza back in 2014, and I wrote three blog posts about the trip and still didn’t feel like I covered everything we learned and discussed.  You can read those blog posts here, here, and here.

Please mark these dates on your calendar and stay tuned for more information to come (probably in April).  This workshop will be limited on space, and priority will be given to people actively working on, or studying, large scale prairie restoration.