Constructing A Native Meadow – Near Horicon Marsh

by Jim Dittmann
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Publishers note: Jim Uhrinak, Secretary of the Milwaukee Audubon Society invited me to photograph a meadow reconstruction project on the east bank of the Horicon Marsh. I had little idea just how fascinating this might be. “3.5 million seeds – 95 species – 16 to 20 grasses, sedges and rushes – all the rest are wildflowers that were found historically in Southeastern Wisconsin.” Native plantings offer significant benefits for all participants: Land, Water, Air, Wildlife large and small …


This short video by LocaLeben’s Jim Dittmann showcases Randy Powers’ decades of experience restoring Wisconsin’s Native Prairies. Randy owns Prairie Future Seed Company which he started by collecting heirloom plant seeds from the rare prairie remnants that managed to escape development in the past several hundred years. After walking thousands of miles searching for plant seeds, and with more than thirty years of hard-won practical experience with prairies in southern Wisconsin, Randy has learned what it takes to see that a prairie restoration takes root.

In cooperation with the Milwaukee Audubon Society, volunteer seeders and neighbor Nick’s help with the tractor, Randy’s Prairie Future Seed Company donated time, material and expertise to the Audubon Society’s effort to transform one and one-half acres of its recently acquired property on the Niagara escarpment into native meadow. The meadow planting sits on the high elevation side of the Niagara escarpment, or cuesta, and overlooks the Horicon Marsh which lays just to the west. Thanks to everyone who lent a hand. Please give Randy a listen as he explains the logic behind an effective high-plant-diversity meadow restoration.

Volunteer seeder Mark Olsen

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