Area News | Home | Marketplace | Community

Return to Archived Stories

Paynesville Press - December 4, 2002

Volunteer workday to be held at the Regal Meadow

The Nature Conservancy will host a volunteer stewardship work party at the Regal Meadow on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Located approximately two miles north of Hawick, the Regal Meadow is a 585-acre nature preserve owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy.

The management of the Regal Meadow is a continuing process that needs the support of an active citizenry. To maintain and restore habitats at Regal Meadow, staff members and volunteers are removing non-native and invasive woody plants through both physical means and prescribed fire.

These practices restore native prairie by creating a selective pressure to which native species are adapted. Ecologically-oriented, step-by-step management is dependent upon people who work to restore and maintain a healthy ecosystem one square foot at a time.

The brush control workday is one activity in the annual management plan for this preserve and will help to prepare the preserve for the prescribed fire season in the spring.

The Nature Conservancy acquired the Regal Meadow in stages between 1979 and 1985 from four separate owners, including Annabelle Ruhland and her family. Ruhland's father and grandfather, who were naturalists, took great interest in land preservation.

As a result, special care was taken to protect species found at the Regal Meadow - especially the small white lady's slipper that is found where the wet prairie and marsh meet the drier parts of the preserve. Other interesting flowers found within the preserve include small fringed gentian, Riddell's goldenrod, Seneca snakeroot, wood lily, and Indian paintbrush.

Drier portions of the preserve are dominated by little bluestem and Indian grass. During the summer, preserve flowers often host butterflies and the Powesheik slipper.

Volunteers interested in the workday should equip themselves for a laborious day outside during a Minnesota winter. Attire should include sturdy work boots, work gloves, hat, old clothes or work clothes, layers, water, and a bag lunch. The Nature Conservancy will provide beverages and a light snack.

To get to the preserve, take Highway 23 west of Paynesville to Hawick. Turn north at Hawick (across from County Road 2) and drive on a gravel road for two miles. The preserve is on the west side of the road.

Questions about the workday can be directed to land steward Colin McGuigan at 218-575-3032. The Nature Conservancy is an international conservation organization that works to preserve plants, animals, and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive.

The Minnesota chapter has 22,000 members and volunteers and has been involved in the protection of over 400,000 acres in the state, including native prairies, wetlands, and woodland communities.

Contact the author at   •   Return to News Menu

Home | Marketplace | Community