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Radnor Lake Native Grasslands Initiative 2019

Over the past 3 weeks, we have been working on restoring 20+ acres back to field areas along the Hall Drive in the Hall Farm portion of the natural area. This can be viewed by park visitors by hiking to the Barbara J. Mapp Aviary Center.
Thanks to funding from Friends of Radnor Lake in January 2019, we have been working with a contractor to remove these targeted areas based on our historical research of areas that used to be fields, then were allowed to regenerate into areas of dense invasive-exotic plants and maple species trees predominately such as box elder trees (monoculture). These areas have been identified with our partners at Penn State University, Tennessee Division of Natural Areas and Henderson State University as part of our 2015 Resource Management Plan for Radnor Lake State Natural Area.
Our goal for the Hall Farm Tract is to convert at least 40+ acres of this 130+ acre farm acquired in 1979 back to native grasslands to support ground nesting bird and butterfly species in the middle of the natural area which will greatly enhance wildlife observation opportunities for our park visitors.
In addition, Radnor Lake was just granted a generous $10,000 grant from the Iris Fund License Plate funds as matching funds for Friends of Radnor Lake support of this project!
Currently, these areas look like cleared-mulched fields however in coming months/years they will be planted in our own native grasslands seed mix to provide host plant species such as common milkweed for Monarch Butterflies and native grasses for ground nesting birds such as the eastern meadowlark, turkeys and bobwhite quail.
This is a multi-year project and a focus of our resource management plan for the next 5 years. Park visitors wanting to see the benefits of this work can plan on attending our late summer wildflower hikes led by our park ranger staff (Aug-Sept. 2019) to these areas to see first hand the enormous impact this is having and the benefit to park visitors for generations to come thanks to this partnership initiative.

FORL Board Hike at Forest Hills Tract. Pix by S. Ward

Contract gyrotrac machine in Hall Farm 2019
Picture by Steve Ward

Picture by Steve Ward

Picture by Steve Ward