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.
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.
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.
The next workshop will be hosted here in central Nebraska (near Grand Island) on September 13 and 14, 2016. We’ll visit sites owned by both Prairie Plains Resource Institute and The Nature Conservancy (Platte River Prairies). As always, we will compare notes on restoration techniques and we will look at a variety of plantings, from brand new to more then 20 years old. In addition, however, we will talk about how to evaluate the success of restoration projects beyond simply counting plant species. We will tour restored sites with a number of researchers who have helped us see whether we’re actually restoring ecological function at our Platte River Prairies – including whether or not we are defragmenting the landscape for a variety of insect and animal species.
Bill Kleiman (white hat) leads a tour of a restored prairie at The Nature Conservancy’s Nachusa Grassland during the 2014 Grassland Restoration Network workshop.
Grassland Restoration Network workshops typically include people from around the Central United States and beyond. I hope you’ll consider attending this workshop to learn from others and contribute your ideas and experiences. The cost will be kept as low as possible, and will probably include primarily food and lodging.
You can click on the following links to read reports from the last couple of workshops (2014, 2015) and to see a collection of lessons learned by network members.