Students Lead Prairie Garden Planting at UMSL
Students plant native Missouri prairie plants to restore natural landscapes to the UMSL campus.
A team of University of Missouri–St. Louis students and faculty members recently planted a prairie garden that was meant to be more than a sprucing up of South Campus. Part of a prairie restoration project, the planting will partially return the land to its appearance decades before the nearly 50-year-old university enrolled its first students.
Campus Honors Environment Research Project, part of the Pierre Laclede Honors College at UMSL, is leading the effort. Students from the Urban Ecology honors college course and UMSL’s Environmental Venture Organization helped CHERP members plant 200 native Missouri prairie plants along East Drive near the South Campus Parking Garage. The wildflower border was planted along a newly reconstructed one-acre wild tallgrass prairie.
“Restoring natural landscapes to the UMSL campus will allow students to imagine the area as it was over 200 years ago when the Lucas family came up the St. Charles Rock Road and saw rolling hills of tallgrass prairie scattered with large majestic oaks,” said James Fish, CHERP project director. “And the restored natural prairies will help UMSL become an environmentally sustainable campus, reduce lawn mowing costs and mitigate storm water runoff from parking lots.”