The Wilmer Wetland project was initially begun in 1991 with the breaking of a tile line that drained a one-acre, reed canary grass (RCG)-infested depression 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. Relying on recent Midwest research addressing the control of reed canary grass, work commenced in spring 2010. With USFWS funding support, the purpose is to use the site preparation techniques of periodic herbicide treatment and tilling (see Reith Village Bio-retention Basin project) to provide long-term control of reed canary grass in these small, isolated seasonal wet depressions. It is envisioned that, once the vegetative reproduction potential of RCG appears to be exhausted, sedge meadow species will be introduced, and the hydrology reestablished and controlled, such that RGC will maintain itself as a minor component in an otherwise diverse herbaceous wetland community.
In May 2010 the wetland basin was broadcast sprayed with herbicide. In addition, a surrounding upland perimeter that had RCG was treated and will be 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 not affected by the herbicide) to sprout new growth. This once-a-season herbicide application and tilling was done in 2011 and 2012.