Habitat Restoration: bringing the land back to a healthy condition.
Habitat: the place or environment where a plant or animal naturally or normally lives and grows.
Restoration: an act of restoring or the condition of being restored, as a: a bringing back to a former position or condition; or b: restoring to an unimpaired or improved condition.
Habitat restoration, ecosystem restoration, biodiversity, wildlife plantings, environmentally friendly landscaping - the terminology is endless, but the goal is generally the same: bringing the land back to a healthy condition. Why is the Washington Conservation District (WCD) interested in restoration? Because permanent vegetative cover promotes soil stability in an ever-changing landscape. The long roots of prairie plants hold soil in place and expedite the infiltration of surface water into the groundwater systems. Trees and shrubs buffer rain and snow, protecting the soil. Plants of all types support the animal life we all like to watch.
The WCD staff can provide technical assistance to restore natural habitats on your land. When financial assistance is available for habitat restoration, the WCD prioritizes projects that directly protect water quality. The links on the left side of this page will provide basic information on habitat restoration. When you've decided what habitats you would like to include on your land, we can help you start the process.
This map (see map to the left) shows the plant communities found in Washington County at the time of the Public Land Survey during the late 1840s. We don't expect current residents to return the landscape to these conditions, but knowing what plant communities thrived where, and their association with the soils and water resources, helps us determine what species to select as design our personal landscapes.