Garvin Heights from Google Earth

Habitat Delineation

Activity 1: Habitat delineation via GPS/GIS, pre- and post-restoration inventory and monitoring of invasive, native, and rare/indicator species, and educational signage development and placement

2016 Products:

Preliminary habitat delineation was conducted during fall 2016 by PSM grad student Ryan Walsh. He used the presence/absence of Bur Oak and American Basswood trees to locate the boundaries between savannas and woodlands. Boundaries between dry bluff prairies and savannas simply followed the presence/absence of Bur Oak trees. Habitat boundaries were walked with a hand-held GPS unit that recorded the pathway traveled. Files were transferred to a laptop computer and opened in Google Earth.

The Google Earth image above provides an aerial view of the various habitats in the Garvin Heights Natural Area. The two large dry bluff prairies are to the left. The dark green forested area that separates the two prairies and extends upward and to the right in this photo is Bur Oak savanna. The pale green/brown patch in the middle of the photo is another smaller dry bluff prairie, overgrown with honeysuckle. The remaining lands are oak-basswood forests.

We have conducted some initial surveys of the plant communities at the project site, specifically within savanna and prairie habitats. Our working list currently contains 18 species of trees, 9 species of shrubs, 8 species of grasses, and 42 species of forbs. Of these, 2 species are listed as State Special Concern (Plains Wild indigo, White Wild Indigo) and 1 species is a State Threatened Species (Great Indian Plantain, 3 plants). In addition, we noted the presence of an orchid, Great Plains Ladies’-Tresses. Many species characteristic of regional savannas and dry bluff prairies were observed, as were several nonnative and/or invasive species. During the next growing season, we will attempt to locate those species on a WSU Herbarium list of species collected from Garvin Heights, plus species that were listed as seeded on the site during past projects.

Informational signage was developed and erected on-site to inform the public of the various aspects of the project. Included on a large sign is acknowledgement of funding by ENRTF (including a logo) and a list of all collaborators and subcontractors (plus logos).