According to the NBHCP, the Conservancy is only permitted to plant native vegetation on Conservancy preserves. Exotic, non-native plant species are not acceptable.
Sometimes it’s frustrating to be so constrained, but we clearly understand why the NBHCP calls for this. But because we are accustomed to adapted plants you’d find in conventional agriculture, with excellent plant vigor, we’re spoiled. Natives grass and plants, by their very nature, grow slowly, and sometimes they are a challenge to get started. We generally wait years instead of months to determine if we have an appropriate stand of native grass, as an example.
Sometimes we have to overseed and re-seed, especially when it comes to native grass. That is, we need to go back into an area that we’ve seeded before and lay down another application of seed. This is expensive. I jokingly tell people that native grass seed is more expensive than gold, ounce for ounce. I may not be too far off! The point is, we have to conduct seeding and re-seeding efforts efficiently and smartly. You can see on the attached map that we have taken careful measurements of areas needing to be re-seeded. And we’ve precisely circumscribed the areas needing that attention. That’s all because we have to do this carefully, and then hope that we have just the right rainfall and temperature conditions this winter so that the seeds germinated and take hold successfully.
The reward is that when this works well, it’s a beautiful thing. I love, absolutely love, the Conservancy’s native grass stand on the Bennett South tract. You can see this from Powerline Road as you drive by the tract since the native grass uplands parallel and are adjacent to Powerline. In the late spring especially, this is a thing of pure beauty.