Pocket Prairie Initiative
The Pocket Prairie Initiative became a part of our urban conservation program in 2016. Its purpose is to restore unused, undeveloped parcels of land, no matter how big or small, back to its native state. Pocket prairie locations may include but are not limited to schools, parks, businesses, city or publicly owned land, and residential property. We have created a special native seed mix utilizing grass and flowering plant species native to North Dakota. Both warm and cool season grasses along with flowering species with varying bloom times from spring to fall are within the mixture to be appealing year round.
There are many great benefits of returning land back to a native state:
- Aesthetically pleasing once established
- Provides habitat for wildlife including; birds, pollinators, and small mammals
- Reduces stormwater runoff by increasing soil infiltration rates
- Reduces pollutants
- Reduces erosion and traps sediments
- Low maintenance
- Conserves water
- Reduces our carbon footprint
- Provides a more interesting landscape and habitat for wildlife in the winter months
There are also a few drawbacks:
- Planting natives from seed takes time, 1-3 years to get fully established
- During this time there can be a lot of weed competition and some maintenance is required to restrict the weed growth until the natives are mature
-Click the map below for an interactive map of all current Pocket Prairie locations within Cass County
In the first season of the Pocket Prairie Initiative 5 pocket prairies were planted throughout Cass County. These plantings ranged in size from 50 sq. ft. to 0.5 Acres. Although there were a few bumps along the way, it has helped us to develop the program even better. We have a goal to get more in the ground in 2017 then we did in 2016, and we are well on our way!
Are You Interested in Growing Your Own Pocket Prairie?
Anyone is eligible and there is no minimum size required. Please send us an email to Ashley.firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call 701.282.2157 x3. Someone on our team will be happy to discuss options with you including site location and determining a site prep, planting, and maintenance plan. Want to plant a large area but don’t have the equipment to do so? We also have options for large plantings. We can prep your area for planting and/or use our no-till grass trill for planting.
What can you expect to see? Below are the species in the seed mix:
Common Weeds to Look Out For:
These are some of the most common weeds that can be seen popping up within your pocket prairie. Make sure to mow or remove these species along with any other weeds before they go to seed. This will prevent them from spreading and overtime the natives will take over the area and outcompete most weed species.
Local Wildlife and Pollinators
Many local creatures can be attracted to the pocket prairies. Birds, rabbits, squirrels, butterflies, bees, beneficial insects, and others can be spotted. Birds can feed off the seed heads of the prairie grasses and build nests. Local pollinators will benefit from foraging on the many flowers, which bloom throughout different months from early spring to fall. They will also find shelter in the prairie grass. Lastly, small mammals such as rabbits may also find cover and food from the native planting.