Wednesday September 8, 2021
An Oak Savanna Case Study: Restoring a Historic Habitat in Burnsville, Minnesota
Oak savanna is a unique and now rare habitat type that once covered significant areas of the state. Widely spreading oaks and understory of grasses and wildflowers were once a common site in many areas of Minnesota but most of these habitats are now either gone or severely degraded.
There are many landowners and organizations working hard to bring our remaining savannas back to life, including right here in the Twin Cities. One of these example projects is at Terrace Oaks Park in Burnsville where management is underway on about 50 acres of previously degraded savanna, with another 20+ acres of restoration planned for this upcoming winter. Caleb Ashling, Natural Resources Specialist with the City of Burnsville, will present on the history of the site, some challenges and successes the City has seen during the restoration effort and some of the restoration strategies that have been employed throughout the project.
Caleb Ashling attended Northland College, receiving a degree in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Ecological Restoration. Caleb started his career as a traveling bird researcher, spending time wandering the arctic tundra in Alaska, mangrove swamps in Jamaica and uninhabitated atolls in French Polynesia while working on bird research projects for various organizations. Caleb moved on to working in habitat management and water quality for a local park district before landing at his current job in Burnsville which allows him to employ his scientific background and love of wildlife to make on the ground changes in local parks that benefit the community and the environment.
Wednesday October 13, 2021
Still Searching for Minnesota’s Native Wildflowers, Even in our Own Backyards
Meet Phyllis Root and Kelly Povo, authors of Searching for Minnesota’s Native Wildflowers; A Guide for Beginners, Botanist and Everyone in Between.
Learn about why they are crazy about native wildflowers, where they search and (sometimes) find them, and why they are also planting them in their own backyards. You’ll learn where to look, when to go, and how to find some of Minnesota’s little-known native wildflower treasures. They will also share stories of their own adventures (and misadventures).
Phyllis Root is a writer, Kelly Povo is a photographer, and they love searching for, learning about, and finding Minnesota’s native flowers. Their first wildflower adventure together was over ten years ago, to Big Bog State Recreation Area, where they walked on the boardwalk a mile into the bog and saw plants they had never seen before. Since then, they have waded rivers, slipped down snowy hillsides, and visited more places than they can remember.
Phyllis, an award-winning author, has written many picture books about Minnesota, including Big Belching Bog, Plant a Pocket of Prairie, One North Star, and most recently, The Lost Forest, all published by the University of Minnesota Press. Kelly, a professional photographer for over thirty years, has exhibited in galleries and art shows across the country. Her photographs have been published on posters, calendars, note cards, and in books. They have collaborated on several books, including Girlfriend Gumbo and Gladys on the Go. Whatever they are doing, Phyllis and Kelly laugh—a lot.