Boots On The Ground Conservation

Our mission is to restore and manage native grasslands.

NIPE 2016 Seed Picking Schedule

Date - Place - Start

9-26 (M) Hanley Savanna 9 am
9-28 (W) Wapello Reserve 9 am
9-30 (F) Hanley Savanna 9 am

>> Schedule Updates <<


10-3 (M) Stewardship Park 9 am
10-4 (Tu) Casper Bluff 9 am
10-6 (Th) Gateway Park 9 am
10-10 (M) LT, TB, Elmo & TP 9 am
10-11 (Tu) Casper Bluff 9 am
10-14 (F) Hanley Savanna 9 am

October 15 through 30


Schedule Updates

General Info: You will receive instructions on what to pick. Sessions generally last 3 hours. You are welcome to leave at any time. It is very useful for you to arrive on time, so you will not need to search for us in the field. Attire: Sturdy shoes, long sleeves, long pants, a wide-brim hat, and gardening gloves. Bring: Sun screen, bug repellent, and a bottle of water. Bring your own clippers and picking bag if you have them.

Schedule Updates

Dates and location will change due to weather conditions. To be kept informed all season long, join our email list by sending an email to Laura. Call Laura (815-947-2720/ 815-541-8958) or Barb (815-275-5175) for further information.

Weed Suppressive Bacteria (WSB)

Cheatgrass on the land of Dixie Dringham. She volunteered for D7 (the biocontrol) testing on some plots of her land. Photo © Hannah Letinich

Ann Kennedy has been researching microbes for more than 30 years and one day, when she saw a stunted wheat plant in a field, she decided to find out what was going on in the soil nearby. She and her colleagues isolated 25,000 microscopic organisms native to the soil of Washington State and tested their effects on crops and non-native plants, eventually isolating a promising bacterium known as D7 for further testing as a biocontrol.

D7 and some other promising microbial candidates that Kennedy is working with inhibited not only cheatgrass growth, but also the growth of another invasive, medusahead — without having a negative impact on native plants, wildlife, or crops.

“There is a genetic potential in the soil that we have not even begun to explore,” Kennedy explains. “What this research shows is that we can actually go into the soil and find those organisms or isolates that have the traits we want and use that trait selectively.”

Today cheatgrass, tomorrow garlic mustard?

Seed Shed Doings, September 2016

Dear Prairie Enthusiast,
A few days ago I went seed picking. I don’t get out to pick much anymore—most of my time is spent tending the prairie garden and processing the seed that other volunteers have picked—-over 100 species to date.