Learn about successful meadow restoration

By From page B2 | September 23, 2013

On Tuesday, Sept. 24 the El Dorado Chapter of the California Native Plant Society welcomes local native plant grower and landscaper Steve Dowty for a talk on “Meadow Restoration and Management.”

Dowty is a long time grower of California native plants in the area, specializing in plants for meadows. Some years ago, he began work on a degraded meadow on his property off Cedar Ravine. Today, that meadow is filled with native wildflowers, sedges and grasses, a restored example of what much of the meadowlands in the area, with their lush beauty and beautiful arrays of native wildflowers, looked like before they were lost to invasive European grasses and noxious weeds like yellow star thistle.

In addition to work on his own land, Dowty has worked on a number of large and small meadow projects and will share the challenges and successes of such work, as well as tips for restoring existing meadows and planting new meadows in the Placerville area.

He will cover which plants work best in specific areas, best planting strategies and how to encourage and promote the spread of desired plant species.

Whether the landscape is wetland habitat or an oak woodland, creating a successful meadow means more than just scattering some wildflower seeds, and Dowty will help to demystify the process and provide hands-on tips for this type of exciting and satisfying long-term restoration project.

Using slides from his various projects and his own meadow, he will start with an overview of vegetation changes in California over the last 10,000 years and the forces driving those changes, explaining the different types of meadows and how they are created, sustained or destroyed. He’ll then present two case studies, his own property along Ringold Creek in south Placerville, and a high elevation meadow in the Lake Tahoe Basin he’s worked on.

The main focus of the talk will be on meadow management and steps for installing meadow vegetation on degraded sites.

The talk is free and open to the public. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. at the El Dorado County Library, 345 Fair Lane in Placerville, with chapter news and a “show and tell” of native plants in the area of particular interest this time of year. Dowty’s talk begins at 7 p.m. Refreshments will also be served.

For more information visit the EDCCNPS Website at or Facebook page, or call 530-748-9365.

Tripp Mikich

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