The Restoration Ecology Lab


The Restoration Ecology Lab is a collaborative network of restoration ecologists, social scientists, landscape designers, and citizens working at the intersection of science, art, ecosystem management, and civic engagement.  Our restorations are in a variety of Midwestern ecosystems and include prairie plantings, trout stream enhancements, schoolyard restorations, public rain gardens, video and photographic documentation of restoration projects, woodland restoration, and civic engagement projects on public lands.

Services and Areas of Expertise

  • Restoration master planning
  • Design
  • Installation and Implementation
  • Management, including prescribed fire planning and implementation, and pest species management)
  • Monitoring
  • Videography and photography, (including long-term repeat photography.)
  • Hourly consulting

Recent partnerships, collaborations, and projects

10.19.19 to present–Instructor in prairie seed collecting workshop in conjunction with the Low Technology Institute.

2017 to 2021–Managed the seed production nursery for the Empire Sauk Chapter of The Prairie Enthusiasts at the Mounds View Grassland property.

2016–Consulting (with Mrill Ingram) on plant selection and management strategies for wetland restoration, and a renovated storm water detention facility in City of Fargo, North Dakota.

The Harbison Branch after reconnecting to Token Creek in summer of 2016. The Harbison Branch after reconnection to Token Creek in summer of 2016.

Restoration of Harbison Branch of Token Creek (Dane County, Wisconsin).  Consulted on restoration and vegetation management issues about re-connecting the Harbison Branch, a cold-water trout stream, to Token Creek, the main tributary to Cherokee Marsh.   In the 1940’s the Harbison Branch was disconnected from Token Creek and re-routed into a carp pond, by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  This project reversed that earlier step.

Contributing editor to Environmental Prospect, the journal of the New Academy for Nature and Culture.

2021 to Present–Consulting restoration ecologist on the Earth Team with the BT Farms Agri-Comunity project

2015–Collaborating with the Friends of Lake Wingra (FoLW) on project to deploy floating gardens to capture nutrients in Lake Wingra and associated storm water ponds.  Short term aim is to test several floating garden designs and various native plant combinations to find the most effective and efficient.  Longer term goals include 1) developing floating garden prototypes that can be built and used by watershed groups, schools, and others; and 2) to increase the abundance and diversity of native plants in the Lake Wingra Watershed.

Periodically review newly developed tools for pest plant control and other restoration activities.

2015-present–Collaborating with the New Academy for Nature and Culture on a variety of ecological restoration writing and blogging projects.

Bagpipes and Bonfires 25th Annual Festival

The annual Bagpipes and Bonfires restoration celebration sponsored by the Lake Forest (Illinois) Open Lands Association. near Middlefork Savanna

2014 to present–Working with City of Madison Engineering Division and City of Madison Parks volunteers on approaches to managing native vegetation in public areas and consulting on best management practices for pest plant control.

Advised on methods of pest plant control for containing and reducing the density of Japanese knotweed in a storm water channel draining to Lake Wingra.  Advised on methods for establishing a diverse mix of native prairie plants in this troublesome–the short-term goal is to establish tough native species than can begin to compete with the Japanese knotweed and stabilize steep slopes.

Picture (Device Independent Bitmap) 1

Knotweed treatment area along the SW Bike Path between Glenway Street. and Virginia Terrace.

2015-present–working with Citizen Stewards of Public Lands (a volunteer group working with City of Madison Parks) to test various innovative methods of woody pest plant control in a public park.  Goal is to find a set of effective,  low-tech, low-impact, minimalist strategies and tactics for pest plant control that can be used by citizen stewards.


The Dudgeon-Monroe Prairie (also known as Sue’s Prairie) at the intersection of Odana Road and the SW Bike Path.

2008-Present–Work with Dudgeon-Monroe Neighborhood Association and Westmorland Neighborhood to provide advice and guidance on prescribed management fire best management practices.

2015–Worked with the Dudgeon-Monroe Neighborhood Association (DMNA) of Madison, WI on the development of a nature and history trail–a two-mile walking and biking route that links and highlights many of the green spaces, ecological restoration projects, native plantings and historic cultural landscapes of the neighborhood.


Map of the DMNA Nature and History Trail

Co-wrote the Place-Making grant application that was awarded by City of Madison Planning to DMNA to create the nature and history trail and associated place-making activities.

2014–present Documenting several ecological restoration projects.  Focusing on changes over time, the restoration process, and the restoration ecologists at work.

Rock outcrops on Picnic Hill, Swamplovers Foundation

Rock outcrops on Picnic Hill, Swamplovers Foundation

2013-2014–Collaborated with the Friends of Lake Wingra, and the Catholic Multicultural Center, and Thoreau School on designing a suite of schoolyard rain gardens and butterfly gardens.

Working with representatives of the Dudgeon-Monroe Neighborhood Association (DMNA) and the City of Madison Parks Division on a woodland enhancement project.

Consulted with Samara Design, and Firefly Garden Design, about prairie restoration for the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Linn County Solid Waste Agency Sustainable Development.

With consulting partners William R. Jordan, III of the New Academy for Nature and Culture, and James T. Addis, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (retired), The Lab participated in an exploration of the natural features and restoration ecology opportunities at the Harbison Farm. This ecological event was Program 1 of the 2012 Token Creek Chamber Music Festival on its 2012 Season theme of “Listen to the Land: Encounters With Nature and Art.”

Provided video and photography services for Bill Jordan, III ( New Academy for Nature and Culture) of the recent Bagpipes and Bonfires Festival in Lake Forest, Illinois. This year’s event was the 25th annual Bagpipes and Bonfires Festival, a fundraiser for the Lake Forest Open Lands Association. This collaboration resulted in the video: “Bagpipes and Bonfires” which appears here on an entry in The Values Project, a Department of Bill Jordan’s web site, “Environmental Prospect, The Journal of The New Academy for Nature and Culture”

3 Responses to The Restoration Ecology Lab

  1. Pingback: Upcoming Workshop — Gathering Prairie Seeds, Oct. 19, 1–4 p.m., Free (Space is Limited) – Low Technology Institute

  2. Courtney Konieczko says:

    Is there a way to sign up for e-mails to my inbox of new posts? Does checking the box below do that? I am in the Indian Springs neighborhood and would love to connect with someone helping neighborhood associations get some conservation projects done.

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