River Birch Prairie

The River Birch Prairie is a demonstration project located at the City's South Park. Located inside the walking trail and bordering the disc golf course, the project converted 4 acres of fescue field to native warm season grasses and flowers. The fairways for the disc golf course remain fescue grass.  The species that were seeded in the winter of 2020-2021 were selected to attract insects, birds and small mammals in a prairie like setting. 
canstockphoto15309445 reducedPrairie grasses and flowers attract a diversity of wildlife including pollinators and song birds and native plants are more tolerant to drought and extreme hot/cold temperatures. The deep root systems of prairie plants improve water infiltration and reduce the amounts of fertilizer and pesticide typically found in urban storm water runoff. 

The conversion from fescue to native grass will reduce maintenance costs and if successful will add character and a challenge to the disc golf course while providing trail users with a vastly more interesting and diverse landscape.

As an additional attractant to animals, Wild plum, Persimmon and Red Mulberry seedlings will be planted in areas outside of the prairie field.  Along the length of the Greenway trail other native hardwood shrubs are being established: Elderberry, Chokeberry, Witch Hazel, Arrowwood, Nine bark and Buttonbush. 

The vegetation in this corridor will attract insects, birds and other wildlife. Visitors should expect to encounter and react appropriately to this natural environment.

Here’s a few links to the resources used in the project:

Hamilton Native Outpost – native seeds

Mo Department of Conservation – tree and shrub seedlings

Grow Native – directory of businesses selling native woody plants
bottom image