Wading through tall ripe grasses and fading wildflowers is a lovely way to spend a fall day. It’s also an important way to support the restoration efforts of the Black Swamp Conservancy. Our volunteers collect the seeds that we’ll use next season to restore additional acres of meadow and prairie.
When we see a meadow from a distance or during a walk, we enjoy the way the wind blows the grasses and we admire the massed collage of colors in a summer garden. Collecting seeds one by one is a more intimate way to appreciate the land that we love and want to preserve. We are reminded that each bit of plant life starts from so little. Just a seed in the soil, some water and some sunshine. It’s an annual miracle that we need to be reminded of.
Every field or meadow needs a diversity of plants for optimum health. Left to their own, invasive plants can crowd out our natives. By thoughtful seed collection and planting, we will encourage a greater diversity of grasses, reeds, and flowers. A diversity of plants leads to a diversity of wildlife. Milkweed supports monarch butterflies; the seed heads of little blue stem grass are a favorite of cardinals, buntings, finches, and towhees.
Volunteer seed collecting is also helpful in stretching Conservancy funds. When we can collect our own seeds, we don’t have to buy them, which can save thousands of dollars each year.
Join us on October 12 for a seed collection event at Pat and Clint Maul’s Prairie! Register online here.