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Managed Grasslands

A Native Grass Commuity Managment Plan for the Oak Ridge Reservation has been developed. Actively managed grasslands on the ORR are located in areas where growth of larger shrubs and trees is not desired (e.g., on utility rights-of-way, along roads, in buffer zones around facilities). The current strategy is to convert managed grass communities from non-native grass species (e.g., fescue) to native, primarily warm-season, prairie grasses and wildflowers.

Native plants provide economic and environmental benefits that non-native species do not (e.g., better habitat for wildlife, improved aesthetic quality, lower long-term maintenance costs, compliance with Executive Order 13112). Recognition of these benefits propelled the initiative to plant native warm-season grasses and wildflowers across the ORR.

Planning by the project partners, led by land managers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, began in spring 2001, and planting started in summer 2002. Sites for demonstration projects were selected for various reasons, including their restoration potential, aesthetics improvement, and wildlife habitat enhancement.

A short overview of the project is found in the research park brief Restoring Native Grass Communities on the Oak Ridge Reservation. Two presentations from 2007 and 2010 provide updated information on the project.

Restoration Projects

Pictures tell the story of several of the prairie restoration projects that are underway on the ORR.

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Last Updated: March 25, 2010