On Friday, October 7, 2016, Sylvan Prairie Park’s south parking lot was full!!! If you happened to look around the park that morning, terracotta and black clothing was seen at every corner and even a few could be found in the middle of the prairie! Over 60 Lourdes University students, faculty, and staff came to … Continue reading Lourdes University Lends Lots of Helping Hands!
Lourdes University has been encouraging their students to volunteer with The Olander Park System (TOPS) for years. Students help us with monitoring stream health, measuring changes in plant community, planting trees and other native plants, and controlling non-native invasive plants. Dr. James Minesky, Associate Professor of Environmental Sciences, is one of the driving forces behind … Continue reading Lourdes University helps out at Sylvan Prairie Park
A group of ten ZOOTeens joined The Olander Park System’s Natural Resources Team to help out our native plants and wildlife at Sylvan Prairie Park this week. The teens pulled piles and piles of the non-native invasive plant, Spotted Knapweed. If left unchecked, the weed can dominate a site, out-competing our native plants and making … Continue reading ZOOTeens at Sylvan Prairie Park
On May 12, eighty 7th graders from Timberstone Junior High School spent their school day outside at The Olander Park System’s Sylvan Prairie Park. The students planted 300 native trees and shrubs, and 1,000 native grasses and wildflowers, and participated in an educational water quality activity led by Partners for Clean Streams’ Mike Mathis. This is the … Continue reading Timberstone Junior High Helps Out at Sylvan Prairie Park
You’ve heard that April Showers Bring May Flowers. But there are beautiful wildflowers blooming in April, too! We call them Spring Ephemerals because they bloom in Spring, and they don’t last very long! They are small flowers that grow in shady spots in the woods. We have several species of spring ephemeral wildflowers in the … Continue reading Spring Ephemeral Wildflowers
Every spring (and fall) Lake Olander plays brief host to several species of migrating waterfowl. These swimming and diving birds (ducks, grebes, coots and more) use lakes like this one as resting spots while they make their long journeys between their wintering sites in Mexico or the southern U.S. and their breeding grounds in Canada or Alaska. And some of … Continue reading Migrating Waterfowl are Here!
Phragmites. What is it? How did it get here? Why is it significant? Let me tell you! The common reed, Phragmites australis, is an aggressively invasive plant species that can be found in many wetlands in the region. Phragmites is an exotic species, which means it is not native to our area. It was brought over to North America … Continue reading TOPS Works to Reduce Invasive Phragmites
Students from Lourdes University’s Restoration Ecology class came out last week to help TOPS staff conduct macro-invertebrate testing in the ditches at Sylvan Prairie Park. Macro-invertebrates are good indicators of stream healthiness and are used to gauge the living conditions in our waterways. TOPS is tracking the state of the macro-invertebrates in the ditches at … Continue reading Macro-invertebrate Sampling at Sylvan Prairie Park
Imagine yourself in the Sylvania area in the early 1800s … in a vast expanse of forested wetland (the Great Black Swamp) with large elm and ash trees, stands of sugar maple, wild turkeys, and woodpeckers. Here and there the trees give way to open marshlands with rushes, flowering shrubs, dragonflies, and turtles. To the … Continue reading TOPS Conservation Mission
Volunteers and staff have been very busy at Olander Park this month. The Youth Conservation Corp. planted over 500 native plants next to the west side restrooms and the Olander conservation crew added the willow fence. The fence adds a whimsical feature to the bed and keeps the maintenance crew from accidently mowing the new … Continue reading Native Plantings at OLANDER