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
Aldo Leopold’s Shack at the Aldo Leopold Foundation
Aldo Leopold’s Prairie, a restoration begun in 1935 by Leopold and his family
Jordan, W.R., III and G.M. Lubick. 2011. “Making Nature Whole, A History of Ecological Restoration.” Island Press, Washington, Covelo, London.