Restoring degraded landscapes often brings both surprises and disappointments. While some changes become apparent after the first year or two of interventions, working on restorations for a decade or more provides valuable lessons and insights for the practice of ecological restoration. The leaders of this webinar have had the opportunity to work on long-term restorations in a city’s natural areas program and a university botanical gardens and arboretum and will share lessons they have learned over 20-30 years of practice. Topics will cover the detective work in learning a site’s history and potential for restoration, developing restoration targets and realistic expectations, creating the mechanisms for carrying out a restoration, and committing to the long-term needs of a restoration project. Emphasis will be on terrestrial ecosystems of the upper Midwest—namely prairies, oak openings, and woodlands.
Identify background information needed about a site and its history (especially related to plants, soils, and hydrology) before beginning planning a restoration
Understand criteria for setting restoration targets and planning a restoration process
Understand the need for evaluation and the commitment needed for restoration success