The Wilmer Sedge Meadow Restoration  was initially attempted in 1991 with the breaking of a tile line that drained a one-acre depression infested with Reed canary grass (RCG) in the larger Wilmer Meadows.  After a few years it was apparent that there was not deep enough water, over a long enough time period, for this invasive plant to diminish enough for native wetland species to become established.

In May 2010 the wetland basin was broadcast sprayed with herbicide. In addition, a surrounding upland perimeter that had RCG was treated and was restored as a buffer of native herbaceous species.  Tilling commenced on the treated area that summer.  As expected, RCG reestablished itself the following year in response to the tilling breaking up the rhizome mass and stimulating the dormant buds (which are not affected by the herbicide) to sprout new growth.  This once-a-season herbicide application and tilling was done in 2011 and 2012.

A water control structure was installed in the summer of 2012.  Initially, this maintained a dry site during the growing season so that further herbicide application or tillage could occur when needed.  Over the long term this permits us to seasonally manage the water levels if the need arises.

In November 2013 the site was rototilled, leveled and seeded with a custom mix of 12 sedge/rush/grass species and 11 forb species. A narrow upland perimeter surrounding the site was planted with a mix of native annual and perennial forbs to buffer any future invasion of RCG from adjacent areas. The water control structure gates were inserted and have been left in place.   In June 2014 plugs of tussock sedge (493) were planted in clusters on microsites that appeared to have the most favorable hydrology for this species.

Since 2014, the site has been monitored during the growing season for RCG re-establishment, and cattail and hydric woody species establishment.  These individuals have been spot-treated with herbicide on an annual basis.

Wilmer site RCG infestation- pretreatment (May 2010)

Results of first herbicide treatment (August 2010)

Site first tilled (August 2010)

More Photos

Existing site high-water hydrology (April 2011)

RCG re-infestation – 1st growing season after initial herbicide/tilling treatment (June 2011)

Installation of new drainage tile connected to water control box (July 2012)

East view of sedge meadow during second growing season.  Clumps of treated RCG in foreground.
(August 2015)

Planting sedge meadow seed mix with Brillion drop seeder (November 2013)