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Posted on: September 7, 2021

Restoration Project Planned for Wintergarden/St. Johns Nature Preserve

Example Short Grass Prairie Photo

Restoration Project Planned for Wintergarden/St. Johns Nature Preserve

In 2019, the City installed drainage tiles to address the flooding issues in the front of the Wintergarden/St. Johns Nature Preserve.  Now that this issue has been addressed, a native short grass prairie will be planted.  This project will include a variety of flowers throughout the growing season and additional walking trails.  The existing ball diamond and open lawn for picnics, reading, free play, and other recreational activities will remain.  As mentioned above, additional trails will be incorporated into the restoration project and will connect the northern portion of the preserve to the recent 20-acre addition.  This project will continue to allow for the existing passive use of the space, while providing valuable natural habitat for monarchs and other pollinators within the lesser used front section.  The native plants and flowers will also increase scenic values and promote biodiversity and stewardship of our natural heritage.  A map has been included to better outline the area that will remain lawn compared to the area that will be restored to a native short grass prairie.

This restoration process will take approximately three years to complete.  During September 2021, glyphosate will be applied in a controlled manner to the area that is to be restored to native habitat. This will kill the existing turf grass and begin the site preparation.  Over winter, the site will look dead but will quickly bounce back to life after the seeds are planted during the spring and begin to grow with the warmer months and spring rains.  Over the next three years, park users and neighbors will witness an exciting transformation of the space.  Native flowers and short prairie grasses will grow to an average height of 3-4 feet and cover 50% of the area out front increasing the beauty and diversity of our nature preserve! 

Please e-mail Cinda Stutzman or call 419-354-6226 if you have any questions or concerns.

Front of Wintergarden Restoration Project Map 2021

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