John Wilt acquired 108 acres of land around 2016, consisting of upland prairie and bottomland woods. The plan was to restore the land as it had not been grazed or hayed in years. John partnered with TPWD to employ the use of a forestry mulcher and prescribed burning to open up impassable areas and refresh the upper most prairie. The first burn removed thick thatch and woody invasive plants. That upper prairie "exploded back" with beautiful native grasses and forbs. There was tons of milkweed!
In March 2023, TPWD assisted with another burn on a smaller prairie. We will visit this smaller prairie to see the effects of the recent burn. Expect to see a wide variety of native grasses including Little Bluestem and Indiangrass. Silphium and other wildflowers are blooming now. We might be able to catch some Spiranthes vernalis on this trip. Other unique plants on this property include marbleseed and Spiranthes orchid species (Ladies' Tresses). Coralroot orchid (Corallorhiza) appears in early spring and Spiranthes cernua appears in the fall. We will also check out John's ongoing project of removing Johnson grass.
Host: John Wilt
Tour Guides: Dana Wilson and Canaan Sutton
Location: Ennis (Exact location will be sent in the registration email.)
Bring: A water bottle to refill and a sack lunch if you would like to stay and visit a while.
Cost: Free. Register on the link below.