Thursday, December 19, 2013

Tall Grass Prairie (Hamilton)

Just read about a tall grass prairie project at McMaster University.

It will be part of the university's research and teaching facility in Hamilton - just five kilometres southwest of the campus.  It's a fifty hectare site known as McMaster Forest and the intention is to rehabilitate into a conservation corridor with different ecosystems (meadow, wetland, forest).

The tall grass prairie will be 4 hectares and 20 hectares will be a forest set up as a Smithsonian tree plot. The students and teachers were clearing Buckthorn last fall and into the winter and will be removing invasive grasses early spring before planting.

Images are of Common red soldier beetle (Rhagonycha fulva) on Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) inflorescence and Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense), Fritillary butterfly (Boloria sp.) feeding on Wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa).

Images by: Sebastian Irazuzta

Monday, December 16, 2013

Burnham Wildlife Corridor (Chicago)

Found more on the Burnham Wildlife Corridor in Chicago.   This is the second project of the Chicago Park District, who first worked on the west shore of Lake Michigan.  They were addressing the need of about 300 species of birds migrating through the area.  This newest corridor will address the south shore creating a 2.2 mile strip (103 acres).  This "restoration" of land created by fill will be mostly with hardy oak trees which are great hosts for many species of caterpillars which will provide the resting birds with nutrients also.  Since the project was started a couple of years ago, local residents have already seen a change and have spotted "more kestrels, hawks and warblers".

Read more here: A lakefront landing strip for migrating birds

"Finding nature in a strip of land sandwiched by railroad tracks and Lake Shore Drive"
Details and Image from WBEZ article written in April 2013 by Chris Bentley