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Little Rock GC Seeks Return of the Northern Bobwhite Quail


October 15, 2020

Steps Taken to Restore Prairie

What attracts bobwhite quail to a field? In an effort to restore a twelve-acre prairie to attract the Northern Bobwhite Quail, Little Rock Garden Club (LRGC) members discovered, as the songwriter Bob Dylan once wrote, “the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.” Their task was to capture the prized bounty before it was scattered by the Arkansas winds.

Partnering with six agencies, the club created a Partners for Plants (P4P) project, The Covey, with grant funds from The Garden Club of America’s P4P habitat restoration program.

The Covey project botanist and biologists, with input from native seed and quail experts, identified local wildflowers and native grasses to attract the bobwhite quail, Monarch butterflies, pollinators, and other wildlife species. LRGCs’ role was to collect, clean, identify, dry, and store native seeds for the 2021 winter planting.

Monthly meetings with LRGC partners (Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC), Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Audubon Arkansas, Central Arkansas Water, Quail Forever, and The Nature Conservancy) led to small group gatherings to collect seed at the AGFC Special Uses Area. Club members learned proper techniques for cleaning the foraged seeds from sedge and other grasses, prairie blazing star, Rudbeckia grandiflora, Echinacea pallida, purple prairie clover, partridge pea, and rattlesnake master.

Seed collecting will continue this fall before the winter planting at the prairie, which has been cleared of invasive plants via a prescribed burn.

Partners for Plants (P4P) is a joint initiative of the GCA’s Horticulture and Conservation committees to restore native habitat on federal, state, county, regional and local public lands. Since its inception in 1992, the GCA has funded 210 projects with grant funds ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 each. Over the past five years, the GCA has granted $250,000 for P4P. Learn more at  Partners for Plants.




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