Restoration of Native Plants and Habitats in Urban Areas

Basic information

With several students each summer and the director of community engagement Gail Heffner, Professor Dave Warners investigated the restoration of native plants and native habitats in urban areas that are on and off Calvin's campus.

The goal for this project is to find the best method to restore an area of lawn to native habitat, more specifically to shortgrass prairie. The soil itself presents the biggest obstacle as it has been with nutrients, and compacted.

We planted a shortgrass prairie on the edge of the Ecosystem Preserve at Calvin with 6 half meter squared test plots set up within the larger prairie.

This project will be available for data collection and assessment in the coming years data that will be compared with the baseline data set we collected this year. For our initial data set we recorded the height of each plant, a bird’s eye view photograph of each plot, and a rating for the health of each plant that was the average of three different individual ratings on a 0-5 scale.


Gail Gunst Heffner

Gail Heffner

Emerita Professor; Co-founder of Plaster Creek Stewards
Full profile


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