Bur Oak Land Trust currently maintains and preserves eleven local natural areas for the enjoyment and education of the public. These areas are managed in part by the Trust’s Property Stewardship Specialist, volunteer property stewards, volunteers, and community organizations. Volunteers play a crucial role in maintaining and preserving our properties.
Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks on Trust properties including: prairie burns, invasive species removal, trash clean up, trail maintenance, planting native species, and harvesting prairie seed, to name a few. We have various workdays throughout the year to provide everyone the opportunity to volunteer on a Trust property. Bur Oak Land Trust also needs help in the office with mailing, publications, community relations, and events. If you wish to volunteer, we can find something for you, no matter what your experience. Interested in helping with property burns? Fill out this form: Burn Crew Info Form
If you are part of a group or organization and would like to schedule a volunteer day, we would love to hear from you!
For workdays on the properties, contact Jason Taylor at jason@BurOakLandTrust.org or call 518-925-871 three.
Thank you to Big Grove Brewery for supplying wooden nickels to reward our workday volunteers!
On September 20, the high temp in Iowa City hit 93 degrees. As I write this on September 21, the high today is 63, a full 30 degrees less within 24 hours. Fall, it appears, is upon us.
While a lot of field work happens over the course of the summer months, some of the most dramatic and important work takes place in the spring and fall. As with agricultural products, most prairie seed harvesting occurs late in September through October. There are a number of good guides that show approximate dates of harvest (including this one from the Tallgrass Prairie Center); the best advice is to wait until the seeds are totally dry. If you collect too early the excess moisture will cause your harvest to become moldy. If you collect good, dry seed, an easy way to store small amounts is within plastic bags in a refrigerator. Small areas can then be frost seeded in the February/March timeframe. While there are a lot of species and site specific variations, most small home prairies can be interseeded with this method. Larger volumes of seed or larger sites make the process more complicated; for a good overview I suggest reading The Tallgrass Prairie Center Guide to Prairie Restoration in the Upper Midwest, which contains chapters on both harvesting and seeding.
Here’s a video Jack Dickens put together of drone footage of an O’Mara-Newport burn and shots from volunteer workdays – with music by Elizabeth Moen. I hope this inspires you to get out and volunteer!