Savannah Restoration

Davey Resource Group provided restoration planning and implementation services to restore a degraded bur oak savanna in College Park, which is owned and managed by the City of Elgin. Within the park, large open grown bur oaks dominated the canopy of a kame- an ecologic feature consisting of a mound of gravel, sand, and till in a depression deposited by a retreating glacier. In the absence of fire, numerous invasive and other non-desirable species had colonized the kame. An American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant awarded by the Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry, U.S. forest Service, provided funding to restore the kame to a mesic bur oak savanna community.

Key tasks included:

  • Documenting per-restoration site conditions, including a site vegetation inventory and locating undesirable woody trees and shrubs using GPS.
  • Developing the restoration and planting plan for a mesic savanna vegetation community, including a detailed list of restoration tasks and associated cost estimates

Implementing the restoration plan:

  • Stump-cut treatments to undesirable trees and invasive woody shrubs and chipping woody debris.
  • High-pressure and low-pressure foliar herbicide application to undesirable herbaceous vegetation.
  • Prescribed burning.
  • Drill seeding of native savanna seed.
  • Installation of nearly 2,500 herbaceous plugs.
  • Large tree and shrub planting.
  • Development of a maintenance plan, including short-term and long-term maintenance recommendations to be implemented by the City.
  • Development of an interpretive sign for the park.
  • Providing construction oversight and coordination for construction of park signage and a boardwalk as requested by the City.