New Plant Identification Guide Available

Posted:5/7/2012 Cerro Gordo

The Integrated Roadside Vegetation Management (IRVM) staff of the Cerro Gordo County Conservation Board has recently completed a native prairie plant identification guide that contains photos and descriptions of over 60 of North Iowa's most common native prairie grasses and wildflowers.   The photos highlighted in the pocket-sized guide were taken by staff members over the last few years in several of Cerro Gordo County's many restored roadside prairies.  The species represented are organized by color and include the scientific names, bloom time, and approximate size of each plant.   Thanks in part to funding acquired with a Living Roadway Trust Fund (LRTF) grant, 300 native prairie plant identification guides were printed and will be distributed to the public at no cost.  The LRTF program, which is administered by the Iowa Department of Transportation, is a competitive grant process that provides funding for IRVM practices including the preservation, establishment, and maintenance of native vegetation along Iowa's roadsides.  Appropriations for the LRTF are allocated primarily from road use taxes and the Resource Enhancement and Protection (REAP) fund.  The Cerro Gordo County Conservation Board provided the labor, photographs, design, and eventual implementation of the guide as an in-kind contribution to the project.   The Cerro Gordo County Conservation Board also has a series of Recreational Experiences Close to Home brochures, one of which highlights wildflower viewing opportunities in county roadsides.  Since late May through August is prime viewing time for native prairie species, now is a great time to stop by the Lime Creek Nature Center Monday through Friday between 7:30 and 4:00 to request a free copy of the roadside wildflower brochure, and the new native prairie plant identification guide.