For this project, the Fish & Wildlife folks decided to start with a clean slate. Earlier attempts elsewhere to overseed the debris of cleared vegetation with cultivars had produced disappointing results.
This parcel is located in southwestern Louisiana in an area known by the locals as the "Cajun Prairies" - where the soils are deep and sandy, and rainfall is abundant.
The land, originally Gulf Coast Prairie, has been used to grow rice and then soybeans, alongside catfish and crawdad farms in the wetlands.
Seeds for this restoration were gathered from a Coastal Prairie remnant across the border in Texas.
Their rich copper color is representative of how the grasses look in the fall.
It's a special pleasure to have a clean site to start a prairie restoration. It allows us to use our equipment to best advantage...
... creating an ideal seedbed for these rare and precious seeds to get a good start.
Most of our equipment has been adapted to meet the special requirements of native grass and wildflower seeds.
The perfect seedbed for a new Coastal Prairie.
The following year we came back early one morning to check out the results of our efforts.
Our August planting the year before had been just in time to catch the rains of the hurricane season...
...and we thought the results were spectacular.
The loosely organized group calling themselves "Cajun Prairie enthusiasts" - made up of government folks, professors, and community people...
...the local park ranger...
...and the local Blacktail Hawk - all agreed.