Arbor View Gardens has received a $500 grant from the Alliant Energy Foundation for the ongoing one acre size Lupine Meadow project.
The Lupine Meadow is a short xeric prairie where the native wild lupine is the predominate species, the lupine being the sole food plant for the caterpillar of the endangered Karner Blue butterfly. This type of prairie is the only prairie plant community historically native to north central and northeast Wisconsin, occurring on dry sandy soils.
Arbor View Gardens Executive Director Andy Gleisner said that the funds will be used to help purchase seed for a secondary autumn over seeding of the plot. The initial early summer seeding has been largely successful due to the regular rains to nourish the seedlings, however some areas suffered seed wash out, and many wild flowers germinate better with autumn seeding. Prairie grasses on the other hand germinate best with spring seeding.
Gleisner explained that the Lupine Meadow project is largely experimental because so often standard prairie plantings in this area are taken over by quack and brome grass. The purpose of the project is to develop management techniques and determine species mix to maintain a short prairie where trees are ecologically the climax species. The Lupine Meadow will necessarily be a long term project spanning several years.