Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Woodland Park Update

You may have noticed a couple things going at lately at Monona's Woodland Park. First and most obvious, the city has allowed the Monona Drive contractor to use part of the front grassy area as a staging area. This use actually dovetails nicely with the Woodland Park restoration plan. The overall goal is to re-establish an oak savanna.

The grassy area was seeded with some variety of yard grass a few years ago (let's not go into the who, how, and why that happened because I'm not sure of the details and it's in the past). The plan is to seed that area with native wildflowers and wild grasses and the grass needed to go. We will also be reseeding that part with a native grasses and flower mix that will have some showy colors all year long. To see the planned mix go to:

The city also recently completed some forestry mowing as part of our management plan to restore Woodland Park to an Oak Savanna. The park is “overstocked” with black cherry’s, shagbark hickory, box elder, black locust etc that have been “out-competing” the oaks for sunlight and not allowing the oaks to re-sprout because of these other species. (My observation, however, was that many black cherry and shagbark hickory trees were left in place where they were not out-competing the oaks.)

We will be replanting oaks next year in the section that is currently covered in rocks from the Monona Dr project.  We eventually hope to do the back side of the park that borders the ALNC property in the same type of native grasses/wildflowers.

I posted numerous photos of the forestry-mowing results and the construction staging area on photobucket. It may not look pretty right now, but it will give oaks a chance to flourish.

Actually, I believe our wonderful restoration contractor Driftless Land Stewardship LLC did the forestry mowing.

All of this work follows the city council-approved management plan. See it here:


This photo shows the opened areas around several oak trees. Note the lack of spreading branches.

This oak tree at the ALNC has grown up in an open area.

This photo shows the classic potato chip bark of a black cherry tree.

My friend the red-tailed hawk of Woodland Park perched on his water tower.

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