featuring the restoration of these majestic trees!
FAR FIELD NATURE PRESERVE
Savannah [suh–van–uh] noun: an ecosystem in which trees are one component, but their density is low enough to allow grasses and other vegetation to be dominant (per OakSavannahs.org).
Many degraded oak savannahs still exist in the Midwest and BACT is restoring one site that spent many years as a farm field. Far Field Nature Preserve was generously donated to BACT in 2014 by Stephen and Mary Smith. These 12-acres are now well into a long-term stewardship plan to restore the oak savannah, as well as the adjoining mixed hardwood woodlands.
Starting with the removal of woody invasives including buckthorn and honeysuckle, BACT then began replanting oaks, shrubs, flowers and sedges. Overseeding happens annually and regular prescribed burns maintain a healthy balance.
Far Field also hosts BACT’s Summer Internship Program and annual OaktoberFest (scheduled for October 3). Many Scouts have earned their Eagle rank by completing projects on this preserve, including collecting seeds, installing the firepit, a message board and, just this year, new gutters on the sheds to fill 4 new rain barrels.
Land donors Mary and Steve have watched with pride as this former soybean field returns to its native glory, which 2021 intern Jenna captured in a stunning plenaire painting.
What Grows Here?
swamp white oak
black eyed susan
varieties of aster
white snake root
varieties of goldenrod
big & little bluestem
varieties of sedge
prairie switch grass
white false indigo
wild black currant
Monarch Joint Venture is conducting weekly pollinator surveys on the site. This national program collects milkweed, nectar plant and monarch use data to help shape understanding of monarchs and their habitats. Pollinators are vitally important to our food systems and ecosystems, BACT preserves have become critical pollinator waystations.
Upcoming Events ~ Save these Dates!
July 18 – Work Day at Pederson Preserve – Pulling/Clipping Invasives ~ Register