In the next week or two, someone will be spreading native grass and flower seeds on almost 20 acres that a we’re trying to convert to prairie. (They used to be covered in fescue—a tough grass that takes a beating, but one that doesn’t provide much in the way of good food or places for wild things to live.) We were fortunate to work with a Missouri native seed grower to design just the right mix of plants to get the height of grasses and types of flowers we want there.
We’re also fortunate to have been working for many years with a person who does work for individual landowners—whether it’s thinning the woods, converting fescue to prairie plants or conducting controlled burns of fields and forests.
Many years ago, people who lived in the countryside also did some of their own farming on the land. They’d have a tractor and maybe their own chainsaw, too. Nowadays, though, people are moving from cities into the country—and they have neither the tools nor the skills to improve their land for wildlife, for future timber harvests, for getting rid of invasive plants or for adding more native ones.
If you’re in that situation—you own the land but don’t have the tools or know where to begin—here are a few quick ideas of how to get started: 1) find a local conservation contractor to help get things done; 2) start with some basic handbooks on managing ponds, forests and fields for wildlife; 3) contact your regional conservation office for more local resources and workshops; 4) browse through our website for lots of information for private landowners.