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GLIN==> MI corporation starts innovative erosion control project using native plants



Posted on behalf of Theresa Mau-Crimmins
<tmau-crimmins@kieser-associates.com>

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Graphic Packaging Corporation of Kalamazoo, MI Participates in
Innovative Erosion Control Project Using Native Plants

A highly erodible portion of property along property along the
Kalamazoo River owned by Graphic Packaging Corporation of Kalamazoo,
Michigan has been planted with native prairie grasses and wildflowers, a
unique method for soil stabilization at industrial properties.  The
experiment, funded by a grant through the Great Lakes Commission and
carried out by KIESER & ASSOCIATES of Kalamazoo, Michigan, will
demonstrate the feasibility of using native grass and flower mixes at
industrial sites.  Additional benefits of the project include habitat
creation for grassland insects, opportunities for prairie education, and
a colorful attraction along the river corridor throughout the year.
More information about the project is available at
http://www.kieser-associates.com/prairie

The planting, part of a much larger bank restoration project at Graphic
Packaging, is an experiment to determine the efficacy of native prairie
grass plantings for erosion control versus conventional plantings at an
industrial facility.  Plantings at industrial sites are often
high-maintenance grasses included only to hold soils in place and
provide a "finished" look to the project. This project provides an
opportunity for restoring surplus, low-quality areas to a more natural
state through the use of carefully chosen native plant species.  The
information collected through this demonstration project will be made
available to contribute to future native plantings at industrial and
urban sites.

The project site, measuring approximately 5 acres in size, was divided
into three plots of approximately equal size. The southen plot was
planted in the conventional fashion, adding topsoil and using turf
grasses. The center plot was also spread with topsoil, but was planted
in native prairie grasses and wildflowers. The northern plot received no
topsoil and was planted with prairie plants.  The plots will be
monitored for several years to determine the short and long-term effects
of such a planting.  Updates will be provided at
http://www.kieser-associates.com/prairie


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