Bluffton University awarded $100,000 grant to continue invasive species removal


Bluffton students identify plants in the Nature Preserve prairie.


Bluffton University has been awarded a $100,000 Protect the Planet Grant from Cenovus Energy. The grant will fund invasive-species removal and native-plant restoration at the Bluffton University Nature Preserve over a two-year period beginning in March 2024. 

The project includes identifying and removing invasive species in the five acres along the drive into the nature preserve and a full restoration of the non-native, 10-acre grassland to native tallgrass prairie.

Under the direction of Jacob Buchannan, M’Della Moon Chair in Botany at Bluffton University, invasive plants such as autumn olive, privet and bush honeysuckle will be removed using methods such as cut-stump herbicide treatment and burning. Seed for native species will be purchased and planted.

“This grant provides an exciting opportunity to restore our nature preserve. We hope that this work will provide habitat for native species and enhance the preserve’s educational and aesthetic value,” said Buchanan.

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