Land Management

Ecosystem Preserve / About Us / Land Management

Active land management of the preserves has only begun in recent years. Land management activities support all aspects of the Calvin Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens mission. Careful considerations have been given to each habitat type (i.e. early successional forest, ephemeral ponds, kettle swamp, constructed prairie, etc.) and details of the care provided by preserve staff can be found in the Ecosystem Preserve’s land management plan.

Land management staff use a variety of best management practices to care for the preserves including:

  • Invasive Species Management: While early detection and rapid responses are crucial for keeping newly established invasive plant populations in check, it is important to use appropriate management strategies and timing when controlling more established invasive plants on preserve property.
  • Prescribed Fire: Preserve staff manages prairie plantings with prescribed fires that are intentionally ignited under strict sets of weather and site conditions. The controlled burns help suppress encroaching shrubs and trees, reduce competition from invasive plants, and stimulate native plants by encouraging favorable growing conditions.
  • Native Plant Propagation: Staff, students and volunteers collect seed from a variety of native plant species found on the preserves for the purpose of propagating and reintroducing additional native plants into degraded natural areas on the preserve properties. Some plants are also propagated for the annual native plant sale where proceeds benefit our education and stewardship efforts, and community members are able to incorporate some of the preserve’s beauty into their own gardens and landscapes.

For more information about land management policies, please contact our Director, Jamie Skillen.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteers play in active role in helping us care for our properties. As a volunteer, you will gain valuable experience, spend time outside, meet new people and learn more all while knowing your time and energy is helping to care for these special places. You can learn more about our many volunteer opportunities on our volunteer page.


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