Restoration at Robbins Slough

Kent Schaap, left, and Bill Schuna, both of the DNR, are pleased with the progress of the Robbins Slough Restoration Plan.

By Per Peterson

While many of us were busy moving snow this past March, Kent Schaap was dropping seed in it.

Schaap, an assistant Area Wildlife Manager for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, didn’t let the early-March elements keep him from adding a mesic seed mix to the white landscape at Robbins Slough off Lyon County Road 11, south of Tracy. It was the beginning stages of a Grassland Restoration Plan by the DNR, which partnered with Ducks Unlimited to improve both wetland and upland areas at the Shetek Wildlife Management Area.

“At that time of year, the sun has enough power to warms those seeds and it melts them in,” Schaap said. “Then the snow kind of pushes it into the ground. You can’t do it in January or February because the snow will blow; it’s gotta be warm enough so that seed melts down in the snow. As the snow melts the rest of the year, it just works that seed right into the ground.”

The mesic mix was applied to 41.2 acres of prairie land near Robbins Slough; another 10.3 acres received a wet/mesic mix. Mesic is a term that relates to growing conditions with a medium water or moisture supply. Mesic is the mix for upland areas, while wet/mesic is a lowland/wetland mix. The wetland restoration work started this October.

For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.