Restoration of the North Sand Hill Savanna began in the winter of 1994 on the west slope of what was an ancient sand dune. This involved the removal of the woody understory and thinning of the canopy trees to favor black oak. The entire site was periodically burned until 2005. Work commenced on the east slope in the winter of 2005 and was completed the winter of 2008. The entire site was burned in 2008, 2009 and 2012, and will continue to be burned on a 3-5 year cycle. In 2007, a series of fifty-meter permanent monitoring transects was installed. Herbaceous species frequency and cover, and woody species frequency have been monitored at least once during the growing season on an annual basis. In May 2008, a small population of hoary puccoon (Lithospermum canescens), was discovered in the monitoring plots. This is a highly conservative flower species endemic to black oak savannas.

N. Sand Hill Savanna, north view of western slope, pretreatment (November 1994)

N. Sand Hill Savanna, north view of western slope, after woody understory removal and canopy thinning (March 1995)

N. Sand Hill Savanna, west view of eastern slope, pretreatment (October 2005)

N. Sand Hill Savanna, north view of eastern slope, after woody understory removal, canopy thinning, and recent burn (June 2009)

Volunteers monitoring quadrat samples along a transect line amidst an expanding population of butterfly milkweed (July 2012, photo – John Smith)

Hoary Puccoon establishment on restored N. Sand hill Savanna (May 2017, photo – John Smith)