Native Grasslands Initiative
Based on our historical and vegetative research partnerships with Penn State University, Tennessee Division of Natural Areas, and Henderson State University, multiple portions of Radnor Lake State Natural Area have been identified as having previously been field areas associated with farming. Over time, these areas have been negatively affected by invasive-exotic plants. The 2015 Resource Management Plan for Radnor Lake State Natural Area outlines restoration in these areas to their native state.
The most viewable area where the transition can be seen by visitors is the Hall Farm Tract. The goal is to restore at least 40+ acres of the 130+ acre farm, acquired in 1979, to native grasslands to support ground-nesting birds, butterfly species and pollinators. The first step of this multi-year project was to clear the land, using contract work funded by Friends of Radnor Lake, to remove all invasive exotic plant species and also prepare it for planting.
Working with Tennessee Division of Natural Areas, our park staff have designed their 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 and bobwhite quail.
The best viewing opportunity occurs in August and September of each year. Radnor Lake State Natural Area staff lead late summer wildflower hikes during this time, providing interpretive program opportunities that highlight this project.
Friends of Radnor Lake is pleased to support the Native Grasslands Initiative, providing a portion of the funding for the program and seeking partnerships in this area.