Savanna Restoration Project
The over-grazed former dairy farm left a treasure of centuries-old oaks and former native grasslands overgrown with brush. The ecological restoration of Phil Hardberger Park presents a remarkable opportunity to recreate and preserve a slice of our natural and cultural landscape. Eventually 60 acres of invasive plants will be cleared and reseeded with native grasses and wildflowers.
September 2009–Over 500 volunteers planted approximately 50,000 live grass plants and wildflowers in a 2.7 acre area.
October 2012–Approximately 150 volunteers planted 3,000 live grass plants in a 4.5 acre area
Spring 2013–Volunteers have planted an additional 3,000 plants in that same 4.5 acre area
NuStar Butterfly Meadow–Within the 7.2 acre current savanna area is a .3 acre area dedicated to attracting and feeding butterflies and their larva with native wildflowers.
From November 2012 through April 2013, NuStar volunteers have:
- Cleared the 1/3 acre area of debris
- Spread native wildflower seeds
- Gently raked the seeds into the soil
- Built a native mulch trail through the area
- Laid cedar post to line the trail
- Laid flagstone for a future bench area
- Built a short cedar post fence to delineate and protect the area
- Planted an additional 200 butterfly attracting plants in the meadow
Future plans include:
- Expanding the savanna and planting 80% of the area with native mid-size grasses and some wildflowers, leaving 20% of the existing trees
- An Eagle Scout Project in the NuStar Butterfly Meadow to add a bench and signage