In the Know: Scotch Grove Prairie Updates
Scotch Grove Prairie Updates (By Curtis Behrens)
This year you may have noticed a few changes at the Scotch Grove Prairie. Several large dead and dying trees were removed from along the roadside and trail areas, along with many problematic tree species along the western boundary. These trees, which include maple, cottonwood, willow, black cherry and mulberry, tend to contribute towards volunteer trees popping up within the prairie and wetland areas, which can quickly take over if not addressed. Additionally, a new wetland control structure has been installed within the wetland area, replacing the previous aged and deteriorating structure. Our fingers are crossed that 2022 is not as dry as 2021 so we can see the wetland fill up and support a greater range of aquatic wildlife.
Scotch Grove remains a very high quality, well trafficked native area, by both Jones County residents and wildlife alike. In fact, our field staff encountered a Short-Eared Owl, an endangered species in Iowa, on the hunt for smaller vertebrates in the tall grass this fall; a true testament to the quality habitat we are maintaining at Scotch Grove Prairie.