Adjacent to the restored Edwards Wetland and the Edwards Prairie & Savanna project is the 2.8-acre Edwards Kame Woodland & Gravel Hill Prairie restoration project. The gravel hill prairie site was farmed until the late 1970’s. Its gentle south-facing slope is underlain by well-drained gravel, which forms the base of the steeper glacial kame. The kame was too difficult to farm, thus being only grazed by livestock until the late 1960’s. This ongoing project was initiated in 2010 with the removal all of the invading tree overstory on the hill prairie site. The remaining understory, consisting of exotic invasive shrubs, was removed in April 2013. The woody understory of the kame woodland was removed in 2012. Plans are to complete the thinning of the woodland overstory to favor the larger oak and hickory trees. This will also provide sunlight to the woodland floor, thus encouraging an increase of remnant native species, such as Pennsylvania sedge and bottlebrush grass. Prescribed burning will be initiated on the gravel hill prairie and woodland site. The hill prairie site will eventually be converted from its current herbaceous cover of introduced forage species to that of native dry prairie species.

Edwards Gravel Hill Prairie site – looking north, before tree and brush removal (March 1995)

Edwards Kame Woodland site – looking north from gravel prairie site, before understory removal (May      2010)

Edwards Kame Woodland site – looking east along top of kame, before understory removal (June 2012)