See for Yourself: Signs of Life - Habitat Restoration

Written by Urban Ecology Center
    Monday, 29 February 2016
See for Yourself: Signs of Life - Habitat Restoration

Our habitat restoration efforts and research projects really go hand-in-hand. As we restore the land, we discover more and more mammals, birds, insects and amphibians using our parks. Our studies also help to determine the number of native plant species we’ve added that have “taken root” and are continuing to grow. Here are just a few highlights you can find.

 Beavers in Riverside Park and the Menomonee Valley! For the first time in over 20 years (and probably a lot longer) Beaver activity has significantly increased in Riverside Park with frequent downed and gnawed trees and even a den!  And it only took two years for a beaver to make an appearance in Three Bridges Park. 462 Native Plant Species. We have planted over 462 native plant species in the Milwaukee Rotary Centennial Arboretum including 103 species (up from only 15) in the restored post-industrial land. And they’re beginning to thrive! Trout lilies (shown above left), for example, have boomed since we’ve removed garlic mustard in the ravine. We’ve found odanate species that haven’t been recorded  in Milwaukee for over 100 years! As a result of our studies, we have recorded Marsh Bluets (shown above) at Riverside and Washington Parks and Stream Bluets at Riverside Park and the Menonomee Valley. These are two of several dragonfly and damselfly species that haven’t been documented in Milwaukee county since 1907!

Photo Credit: Counter clockwise from left: dw_ross (flickr.com/photos/dw_ross/5611413332/), David G. Smith (delawarewildflowers.org), Montrealais (commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Opuntia_macrorhiza_-_JBM.jpg), Fyn Kynd Photography (flickr.com/photos/79452129@N02/198739


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