As a part of the Big Woods Ecological Restoration Project in southeastern Minnesota, 8,500 red oak and 500 butternut seedlings were planted in old fields which were previously either cropped or grazed. These fields lay adjacent to high quality hardwood forests, including areas which contain old growth. This project was a joint effort by American Forests, the Minnesota DNR Parks and Recreation Divisions, The Nature Conservancy, the Land Stewardship Project, the County Soil & Water Conservation District, local government agencies, area colleges, public schools, private and public agencies and citizen groups. Volunteers including local school groups planted the trees. The purpose was to restore the canopy, reduce fragmentation and eliminate the edge effect, which provides habitat for predators of deep-woods songbirds. Additionally, the project will provide educational opportunities and enhance community involvement.
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