Prairie Remnant Restoration
Oakland Township Parks and Recreation
There are many types of prairie plants along the Oakland Township section of the trail. In 2002 the Paint Creek Trailways Commission (PCTC) acquired a 1-acre tallgrass prairie area located along the east side of the trail about a third of the way between the Silver Bell and Dutton Road trailheads. For those familiar with the trail, it’s the field in which the deer exclosure cages were installed in the summer of 2002.
The PCTC obtained funding through grants from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts. This funding paid for an Ecological Study, which was done in 2001 and identified a controlled burn as one of the management tools to be implemented. The restoration and management of this area is the responsibility of the Oakland Township Parks and Recreation Commission (PRC). The PRC is looking forward to working with residents on the restoration of this unique area.
The parks stewardship team and volunteers help with the removal of woody plants that shade out the sun-loving prairie plants. The prairie remnant site is burned as part of its ongoing management. The (PRC) contracts with a professional ecologist to conduct these prescribed ecological burns.
Immediately north of the Gallagher Road parking lot the PCTC has located a Prairie Restoration Art Project that was also funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. The purpose of the art project is to interpret and celebrate our local prairie areas. The art project, created by artist Al Hebert, consists of a copper bur oak leaf sculpture housed within a protective wooden installation. Thank you to the volunteers who helped with the finishing and installation of the project!