UW-Green Bay Works to Restore Oak Savanna » Urban Milwaukee (WPR)
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay is leading a project to restore rare oak savanna in Northeast Wisconsin.In the past, the area near UW-Green Bay’s campus wasn’t continuous moist forest, like most of the region, said Dr. Robert Howe, a biology professor and founder of the Cofrin Center for Biodiversity. The first federal surveyors found open space, scattered oaks and Indigenous people who had shaped the land, he said. “So, our goal is to restore the 76 acres into a natural community that is oak savanna with a riparian forest running right through the middle of it,” he said. The university and its partners purchased about $30,000 worth of seeds. On a sunny afternoon in November, volunteers and students helped scatter them by hand in areas that couldn’t be reached by tractor. Once the grasses grow, the university will plant oak trees that will play host to red-headed woodpeckers and other species that are declining in the area, Howe said.