Two Prairies–Pioneers of Ecological Restoration


Curtis Prairie in Madison, and Aldo Leopold’s Prairie near Baraboo, both in Wisconsin are among the earliest attempts that scholars know of to restore a complete ecosystem of any type and are almost certainly among the earliest prairie restoration projects (Jordan and Lubick, 2011).

The two prairie restoration efforts were initiated in 1935 and are among the small group of pioneering restoration projects undertaken around the world in the first half of the 20th Century starting about 1906 with work at the Desert Botanic Laboratory in Tucson (Jordan and Lubick, 2011).

Below are photos of how they looked in 2012 after nearly 80 years of restoration work.

Curtis Prairie, a restoration begun in 1935 at the UW-Madison Arboretum

Curtis Prairie at the UW-Madison Arboretum as it appeared on September 27, 2012

Curtis Prairie at the UW-Madison Arboretum as it appeared on September 27, 2012.  In the western portion of the prairie, looking west toward the “Leopold Pines.” a northern Wisconsin pine forest restoration attempt.

Aldo Leopold’s Shack at the Aldo Leopold Foundation

The "Shack" at the Aldo Leopold Foundation near Barabo, Wisconsin.

The “Shack” at the Aldo Leopold Foundation near Baraboo, Wisconsin, viewed from Aldo Leopold’s prairie.

Aldo Leopold’s Prairie, a restoration begun in 1935 by Leopold and his family

Aldo Leopold's Prairie adjacent to Leopold's Shack at the Aldo Leopold Foundation near Barabo, Wisconsin.

Aldo Leopold’s Prairie is next to Leopold’s Shack at the Aldo Leopold Foundation near Baraboo, Wisconsin.  As it appeared on November 3, 2012.

 Reference

Jordan, W.R., III and G.M. Lubick.  2011.  “Making Nature Whole, A History of Ecological Restoration.”  Island Press, Washington, Covelo, London.

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About Steve Glass

The blogger is a restoration ecologist practicing and writing in the Midwestern United States.
This entry was posted in "The Shack", Aldo Leopold, Curtis Prairie, Ecological restoration, Fall foliage, Prairie restoration, Restoration ecology, The Aldo Leopold Foundation and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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