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Old 10-14-2009, 02:05 PM   #1
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promise Outdoor Prairie Classroom Planning

I am in the process of doing a restoration for a school to create an outdoor prairie classroom. We decided on seeds from three sources-
A regional mix from Prairie Moon Nursery- Chicago Illinois Mixed Height Prairie Seed Mix :: View ALL Seed Mixes :: Seed Mixes :: Prairie Moon Nursery

Local ecotypes from the Natural Garden in St.Charles

Seed from Fermilab campus.

Here are some pictures. We are planning on planting in the fall of 2010.

Feel free to send advice or comments my way!
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Outdoor Prairie Classroom Planning-site-acres.jpg   Outdoor Prairie Classroom Planning-site-plan.jpg   Outdoor Prairie Classroom Planning-project-design.jpg  
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:46 PM   #2
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That's wonderful, gnomenative. That must be an exciting project.
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:50 PM   #3
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This is exciting. And at a school no less. I will anxiously await updates to this project.

You must feel honored to have been selected for their prairie classroom project.
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Old 10-14-2009, 07:41 PM   #4
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GnomeNative, what a wonderful project. Please keep us posted as to how it is coming along.
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Old 10-15-2009, 09:33 AM   #5
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This space is just lawn now and nobody is on the space except on a mower. I am really excited to get it going with natives and get kids involved!
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Old 10-15-2009, 02:31 PM   #6
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I have been working with the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati to create both prairie and meadow planting on what was lawn. We involved volunteers from the Wild Ones and Master Gardeners to assist us with the installation. You might want to solicit help from these and other native plant groups in your area. Not only will they help with the plants, but will interact with teachers and students as the project progresses. Please keep us posted.
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Old 10-15-2009, 09:15 PM   #7
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What a wonderful project! Please post photos as you go!
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Old 10-15-2009, 11:54 PM   #8
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Great project! This will be a lot of work to get it right, but it should be a lot of fun too.

One thing that I've observed on projects like this is that getting rid of the non-native grasses is very important. It's really important to be thorough before planting anything. Mowing the first year or two after seeding usually works well for controlling most weeds, but it does little to control unwanted grasses. It's very discouraging to see non-native grasses reestablishing themselves in later years. It becomes a frustrating challenge to control them without harming the prairie plants.

When you get to the seeding portion of the project, consider seeding by hand if that is practical. I've seen artificial looking outcomes with some mechanical seeders. It's sometimes overlooked that putting a seed mix in a mechanical seeder does not always produce a mixed planting of seeds. Sometimes the seed characteristics will cause most of one species to be planted all at one time. A small dense type seed, for example, can quickly settle to the bottom of the seed mix in the hopper and wind up being planted in a relatively small area. The less dense, larger seeds can end up in the top of the hopper and wind up being planted as a group at the end of the run.
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Old 10-16-2009, 07:23 PM   #9
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According to his drawings, he's going to have an island in their lawn. What does he do about that? A barrier?
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Old 10-16-2009, 08:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Equilibrium View Post
According to his drawings, he's going to have an island in their lawn. What does he do about that? A barrier?
A mound of beach sand and a palm tree, surrounded by a moat?
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classroom, education, education grants, outdoor, outdoor education, outdoor prairie classroom, planning, prairie, prairie classroom, prairie garden project, prairie restoration, restoration, restore habitat, restoring native ecosystems, seeds for education, sfe grant, wild ones, wild ones sfe grant

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