Winona State University Biology Professor Neal Mundahl, in collaboration with the Landscape Arboretum at WSU, was selected to receive a grant from the Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) in May 2016. The $99,000, three-year grant is from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, which comes from lottery proceeds and the fund’s investment income.
The grant will be used to restore Winona’s bluff-land natural area on Garvin Heights, which receives 40,000 to 50,000 residents and visitors per year. Grant funds will be used for pre and post habitat restoration inventories of plant and animal species, and removal of invasive species by the Minnesota Conservation Corp and by the use of an innovative goat-grazing program provided by Diversity Landworks, LLC (La Crescent, Minn). Additional plans include monitoring native and rare/indicator species on the site, developing educational signage, reseeding/replanting of native plant species, and conducting invasive species management workshops for the public and interested landowners. Both graduate and undergraduate students from WSU will be involved with research, conducting inventories and doing restoration assessment during the three-year grant period.
The City Council of Winona on Nov. 7, 2016 approved joint agreements with WSU to permit work to commence on the Garvin Heights site immediately. According to Mundahl, this project is of special significance because of the mix of dry bluff prairie and bur oak savannah, which are becoming increasingly rare throughout southeastern Minnesota and the greater Driftless Region, and because the restoration project will serve as a model for educating the public and landowners about invasive species management and habitat reclamation.
For more information, contact Neal Mundahl at firstname.lastname@example.org.