Got Nature? Blog

Posted on September 10th, 2020 in Forests and Street Trees, How To, Land Use, Plants, Webinar | No Comments »

Join Kara Salazar, Assistant Program Leader and Extension Specialist for Sustainable Communities, and Sarah Hanson, Ag & Natural Resources Educator for Purdue Extension in Johnson County, as they introduce you to the world of rainscaping and rain gardens.

If you have any questions regarding wildlife, trees, forest management, wood products, natural resource planning or other natural resource topics, feel free to contact us by using our Ask an Expert web page.

Resources
Rainscaping Education Program, Purdue University
Master Gardeners Program
Ask An Expert, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube channel
Rainscaping, Playlist
Rain Gardens Go with the Flow, Indiana Yard and Garden, Purdue Horticulture
Rainscaping Education Program Highlighted in NOAA Annual Report, Got Nature? Post, Purdue Extension
What is Rainscaping? Purdue Rainscaping Education Program Video, Purdue Extension
Q&A About Drainage Water Recycling for the Midwest,  The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Become a Purdue Master Gardener, The Education Store
Climate Change: How will you manage stormwater runoff?, The Education Store

Kara Salazar, Assistant Program Leader and Extension Specialist for Sustainable Communities
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Sarah Hanson, Ag & Natural Resources Educator
Purdue Extension for Johnson County


Posted on September 1st, 2020 in How To, Land Use | No Comments »

IISGToolKit_captureIllinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) Newsroom: With the prolonged pandemic continuing to affect the United States, traditional education has turned toward at-home learning and virtual classrooms to keep students safe. Now more than ever, teachers must be able to find lesson plans for their students that are adaptable to different learning environments and cover topics required by the curriculum. To meet these needs, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) has created a weather and climate education toolkit where teachers can find resources on the topics of weather, climate and climate change.

IISG developed the weather and climate education toolkit with support from the Center for Great Lakes Literacy and the Midwestern Regional Climate Center.

*Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant is a part of University of Illinois Extension and Purdue Extension.

Resources
Purdue Climate Change Research Center
Indiana Impacts & Resources, Purdue Climate Change Research Center
Tipping Point Planner
The Nature of Teaching, Purdue Extension
Trees and Storms, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center

Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG)


Posted on August 31st, 2020 in Forestry, How To, Land Use, Plants, Wildlife | No Comments »

In a previous job, I helped landowners enroll in and implement private land conservation programs like the Conservation Reserve Program. Much of my job centered around talking with landowners about how to establish and manage native grass and forb (wildflower) plantings for wildlife. Even in my job today, I provide educational opportunities including seminars, field days, and workshops centered on this topic.

One of the most common emails, phone calls, and questions I get when talking about establishing these plantings revolves around evaluating the planting during the first year.

Typically, the inquires go like this “I planted native grasses and wildflowers for wildlife this spring, and now I just have a field of weeds! Did the planting fail?” or “Nothing I planted this spring is growing!”

Following these flustered phone calls and frantic emails, I usually do a site visit with the landowner to help them evaluate their planting. Below are the four things I look for when evaluating a new native grass and wildflower planting.

Before we get into the things I look for during an evaluation, it’s important to note that native grass and wildflower plantings for wildlife typically take 2-3 years to establish. So, what you see in year one, may not be what you get in year two, three, or four. But, there are a few signs you can use to monitor your planting’s progress.

comparison_yr1yr2

This planting was full of “weeds” in year 1, but by year 2 planted wildflowers were abundant on the site.

1. Weed pressure
Inevitably when you plant these diverse mixes of native grasses and wildflowers you will get weeds. Even if you control weeds before planting (which you should), some weeds will still show up, especially annual weeds like foxtail, ragweed, and horseweed. In the past, we used herbicides like imazapic (Plateau) to help control weeds during the first growing season after planting – which is still an option in native grass only stands or with certain wildflowers. But, with more diverse plantings we do not have any herbicide options to control weeds without harming what we planted. Therefore, weeds may be more of an issue in diverse plantings like pollinator plantings.

Controlling these weeds may require mowing during the growing season before they produce seed, which can help planting success. But this mowing can come at a cost. Many of these weeds like common ragweed, provide cover and food for wildlife. Mowing the field may temporarily reduce its value to many wildlife species. When evaluating weed pressure, we need to decide if weeds are dense or thick enough to reduce the germination and growth of what we planted. Generally, if the weed pressure in the field is high and it is shading out the ground, you should think about mowing to control weeds. If weed pressure is not high and sunlight is still reaching the ground, you may want to consider skipping or delaying the mowing until later in the summer.

foxtail

This field that was planting to native grasses and wildflowers is now dominated by foxtail. This would be a situation where mowing may improve the establishment of the what you planted.

 

2. Look for rows or drill marks
If you plant the field with a no-till drill, you may see rows of plants appear during the first growing season. This is a sure indication that what you planted has germinated and is growing. However, if you frost seeded the field by broadcasting the seed on top of the ground, you will not see rows. Sometimes the rows of plants will not be obvious at first, but will be very obvious later on.

little bluestem

See the bronzish/orange grass in rows? That’s little bluestem. This landowner thought they had a failed planting, but it wasn’t until the following winter when the drilled rows of little bluestem were obvious.

 

3. Identify indicator plants
One the best ways I could calm the nerves of a landowner who thought they had a failed planting was by identifying species of wildflowers or grasses that they did indeed plant. Some of the annual or biennial wildflowers such as black-eyed susan or partridge pea will germinate quickly and may even flower during the first growing season. Learning how to identify some of the species you planted will help you determine if what you planted is indeed germinating and growing.

Partridge pea

Partridge pea is a commonly planted species that grows and flowers during the first summer after planting. Their yellow flowers and compound leaves make them easy to identify.

 

4. Scout for invasives
Another topic of discussion on a site visit is invasive plants. It is important to catch invasive early in a planting so they do not cause problems later on. Some of the common invasive plants that show up early in the life of native grass and wildflower planting are Canada thistle, sericea lespedeza, and johnsongrass. Control of these species often requires herbicide. Catching them early when they can be spot-sprayed will save you time, money, and headaches.

Looking for these four signs when evaluating your newly established planting can help you determine if it’s on the right track and help you keep it there. But, many of the species you planted are perennials, and will not be very obvious the first growing season. They are putting most of their energy towards below ground (roots), not above ground (stems) growth. So, if you don’t see them during the first growing season, it doesn’t mean they are not there. Establishing a native grass and wildflower planting for wildlife takes a bit of patience and persistence.

Video: Tips for Evaluating a First Year Native Grass and Forb Planting expands even further regarding the tips on how to evaluate your first-year planting.

Resources
Purdue Extension Pond and Wildlife Management Website
Renovating Native Warm-Season Grass Stands for Wildlife: A Land Manager’s Guide, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Native Warm-Season Grasses: Identification, Establishment, and Management for Wildlife and Forage Production in the Mid-South, The Education Store
Calibrating a No-Till Drill for Conservation Plantings and Wildlife Food Plots, Video, The Education Store
Habitat Help LIVE Q&A – Native Grasses and Forbs for Wildlife, Video, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube channel

Jarred Brooke, Wildlife Extension Specialist
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Posted on August 26th, 2020 in Gardening, How To, Land Use, Plants, Webinar | No Comments »

rainscaping bannerThe Purdue Rainscaping Education Program team is offering a virtual Purdue Rainscaping Education Program workshop as a five week series. This workshop will teach master gardeners, landscape professionals, and agency staff how to promote community awareness and education for bioretention/rain garden planning, installation, and maintenance.

Landscapes with rainscaping capture stormwater, which reduces polluted runoff from homes and communities. When plants and soils of a rainscaped landscape absorb water from storms, they keep pollution from reaching streams, rivers, and lakes. Learn more by attending this virtual program with resources and live webinars.

Cost: $50.
Registration: for online registration visit https://www.cvent.com/d/v7qpml.
You can also register by contacting the Purdue Education Store at 765-494-6794.
The registration deadline is September 11.
Registration is open to a maximum of 50 participants.

Program Agenda
September 21
2:30 – 5:00 pm (all times Eastern)
Introduction and Overview of Rainscaping

September 23
2:30 – 5:00 pm (all times Eastern)
Site Selection and Analysis

September 30
2:30 – 5:00 pm (all times Eastern)
Plant Selection and Design

October 5
2:30 – 5:00 pm (all times Eastern)
Installation and Maintenance

October 7
2:30 – 5:00 pm (all times Eastern)
Rainscaping and Community Engagement.

If you have questions regarding the program contact: John Orick, orick@purdue.edu, 765-496-7956 or Kara Salazar, salazark@purdue.edu, 765-496-1070

For more information, please view Purdue Rainscaping Education Program Flyer.

Resources
Rainscaping Program
Master Gardeners Program
Rain Gardens Go with the Flow, Indiana Yard and Garden, Purdue Horticulture
Rainscaping Education Program Highlighted in NOAA Annual Report, Got Nature? Post, Purdue Extension
What is Rainscaping? Purdue Rainscaping Education Program Video, Purdue Extension

John Orick, Purdue Master Gardener State Coordinator
Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture

Kara Salazar, Assistant Program Leader and Extension Specialist for Sustainable Communities
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


treePurdue Landscape Report: The Purdue Landscape Report Team will begin a new, free online series that will start every two weeks on Wednesdays at noon Eastern time zone. The topics and speakers will vary each session, so check out the newsletter every two weeks to find out what follows the next day. You’ll have three ways to attend each session, which you can find below.  During each session you’ll be able to ask questions to the speakers on Zoom and Facebook Live. Hope you will join us!

To join the chat on Zoom:
https://purdueextension.zoom.us/j/98937266342

To join the chat via telephone:
US: +1 312 626 6799

To join the chat on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/PurdueLandscapeReport

Resources
Purdue Landscape Report
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube Channel
Invasive Species, Playlist
Woodland Stewardship for Landowners, Playlist
Ask The Expert, Playlist
Surface Root Syndrome, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Tree Pruning Essentials, The Education Store

Kyle M Daniel, Nursery & Landscape Outreach Specialist
Purdue Horticulture and Landscape Architecture


Receive tips and tricks about establishing native grasses and forbs for wildlife. Don’t miss the question and answer time with our Purdue Extension Wildlife experts.

If you have any questions regarding wildlife, or other natural resource topics, feel free to contact us by using our Ask an Expert web page.

Resources
Natural Resources Conservation Service Indiana
Pheasant Forever
Quail Forever
Pure Live Seed: Calculations and Considerations for Wildlife Food Plots, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
Seed Fillers and Carriers for Planting Native Warm-season Grasses and Forbs, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources
Calibrating a No-Till Drill for Conservation Plantings and Wildlife Food Plots, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube channel

Jarred Brooke, Extension Wildlife Specialist
Purdue Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


pub coverYour Ecosystem Listening Labs (YELLS): The Science of Soundscape Ecology Instructor’s Guide, Grades 5-8 is a 160-page publication, consisting of four chapters that focus on physics of sound, animal communication, soundscapes, and soundscape ecology.

The world around us is full of amazing sounds that are often ignored by humans. Unfortunately, many of the sources of these sounds are actually in danger of being destroyed by human activities. The activities contained in this package take students through the entire scientific method, from observations through conclusions, pairing the practice of science with the exploration of soundscape-based content.

To learn more about soundscape ecology and the sounds around us we might be missing or don’t know are there, visit Center for Global Soundscapes.

Resources
Soundscape Ecology Research Projects, Purdue University
Record the Earth, APP
Community Soundscape Planning Guide: Controlling Noise & Protecting Natural and Cultural Sonic Spaces, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center

Bryan Pijanowski, Professor of Landscape and Soundscape Ecology
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Kristen Bellisario, Post Doc Research Associate
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


pub coverThis Community Soundscape Planning Guide is to be used by communities in the United States and other places, to focus land use planning within the context of the sonic spaces of built and natural areas locally.

This guide focuses on:
– Learning the Basics: helping planners understand what a soundscape is and what is noise
– Impacts of Noise on People and Wildlife: summarizes what is known about how sound affects people and wildlife
– Soundscape Workbook: allowing individual planners or community groups to work through major issues related to natural and cultural soundscapes and the occurrence of noise in their community
– Planning Tools and Resources: which describes tools already in existence and new tools such as an app and online mapping system developed at Purdue University.

This planning guide is also associated with several Purdue Extension projects that are underway and which can be offered to communities. This includes the online GIS-based tool called Tipping Point Planner.

Resources
Center for Global Soundscapes, Purdue University
Soundscape Ecology Research Projects, Purdue University
Record the Earth, APP
Your Ecosystem Listening Labs (YELLS): The Science of Soundscape Ecology Instructor’s Guide, Grades 5-8, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Tipping Point Planner Website, Purdue University
Tipping Point Planner, The Education Store

Bryan Pijanowski, Professor of Landscape and Soundscape Ecology
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Kara Salazar, Assistant Program Leader and Extension Specialist for Sustainable Communities
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Dan Walker, Community Planning Extension Specialist
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Posted on July 17th, 2020 in Forestry, How To, Land Use, Plants | No Comments »

Purdue extension forester Lenny Farlee explains how to tell identify black maple and how to tell it apart from its cousin, sugar maple.

If you have any questions regarding trees, forests, wildlife, wood products or other natural resource topics, feel free to contact us by using our Ask an Expert web page.

Resources
ID That Tree, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube Channel
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube Channel
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Tree Appraisal and the Value of Trees, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store

Lenny Farlee, Sustaining Hardwood Extension Specialist
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Posted on July 14th, 2020 in Forestry, How To, Land Use, Plants | No Comments »

In this tree identification episode, Purdue Extension forester Lenny Farlee will talk about how American elm leaves have jagged edges with a large tooth and then smaller teeth like edges on top of it. Find out why these trees are not as easy to find as they used to be.

If you have any questions regarding trees, forests, wildlife, wood products or other natural resource topics, feel free to contact us by using our Ask an Expert web page.

Resources
ID That Tree, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube Channel
A Woodland Management Moment, Playlist, Purdue Extension – Forestry and Natural Resources Youtube Channel
Investing in Indiana Woodlands, The Education Store, Purdue Extension resource center
Tree Appraisal and the Value of Trees, The Education Store
Forest Improvement Handbook, The Education Store

Lenny Farlee, Sustaining Hardwood Extension Specialist
Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


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