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header image of a meadow
Restoration Science Center

Lawn to Meadow Program

hand seeding meadowLawns are a staple American landscape feature, currently covering more area in the lower 48 states than National Parks. However, they pose a significant threat to biodiversity, harboring many exotic species and causing habitat fragmentation and loss for native species. They require extensive time and resources to maintain while offering little to no ecological benefits.

The RSC is working to mitigate this threat through our Lawn to Meadow Program, a component of the Conservation on Private Lands Initiative. Working with landowners, we are overseeing and assisting the transition of traditional lawns to diverse and beneficial meadows. There are many reasons landowners choose to convert their land to meadows, including a desire to protect water quality, limiting erosion, enhancing habitat for wildlife, saving money on lawn care, and the aesthetic appeal of this beautiful landscape feature. Whatever the draw maybe, we work beside landowners to produce dynamic meadows that fit their needs while also benefiting the local environment.

In 2021 our focus has been on planting meadows around Skaneateles Lake. Click through the slideshow below for highlights from our recent projects!


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seeding
ESF Graduate Students and landowner seeding a meadow at Go Natives Perennials, Skaneateles, NY
Photo: Shumaila Bhatti
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water droplets on young plants
Water drops on young meadow plants.
Photo: Shumaila Bhatti
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Sam Quinn Seeding a meadow
Sam Quinn hand seeding a meadow in Skaneateles, NY
Photo: Shumaila Bhatti
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plants emerging in meadow
First plants emerging in a recently planted meadow in Skaneateles, NY.
Photo: Shumaila Bhatti
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Jess Proctor raking the meadow
ESF Graduate Student, Jess Proctor, raking a soil to prepare for meadow planting. Skaneatles, NY
Photo: Shumaila Bhatti
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Jess Proctor mulching the meadow
ESF graduate student Jess Proctor and landowner mulching a recently planted meadow. Photo: Shumaila Bhatti
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Lance-leaf coreopsis flower grown in a meadow.
Lance-leaf coreopsis flower grown in a meadow. Photo: Shumaila Bhatti
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Sam Quinn instructing on seeding procedure
Sam Quinn explaining meadow seeding procedure to planting volunteers at Go Natives Perennials. Skaneatles, NY
Photo: Shumaila Bhatti
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Meadow with various plants in bloom.
Meadow with various plants in bloom. Photo: Shumaila Bhatti




This work would not be possible without the support of our growing number of partners!

Sponsors:

Skaneateles Lake Association Logo Ernst Seeds logo Central New York Land Trust logo
Go Native Perennials logo Central New York Community Foundation logo

Meadow Creatures

Meadows offer shelter, food and habitat for a wide diversity of wildlife. Below are some highlights of visitors we have seen in the field!

American toad
American toads are a common amphibian in New York State. Meadows provide cover from predators such as red tail hawks as well as attract food sources like slugs, insects and spiders! Photo: Shumaila Bhatti
American robins nesting
American robins nesting near a meadow. Young robins feed almost exclusively on insects caught by their parents. Meadows harbor a diversity of insect species beneficial to young bird diets Photo: Shumaila Bhatti
Monarch butterfly sitting on milkweed leaf.
Monarch butterfly sitting on milkweed leaf. Milkweed plants are necessary for monarchs to complete their lifecycles and are common species in meadows. Photo: Shumaila Bhatti
Slug found in meadow
Slug found in meadow. These creatures are valuable food sources for native birds, amphibians and reptiles. Photo: Shumaila Bhatti
 Grasshopper in meadow
Grasshopper in meadow, a valuable food source for native birds, amphibians and reptiles. Photo: Shumaila Bhatti
Flame the Australian Shepard wearing a lance leaf coreopsis flower in a meadow.
Dogs love meadows too! Flame the Australian Shepard wearing a lance leaf coreopsis flower in a meadow. Photo: Shumaila Bhatti
Eastern bluebird sitting on nestbox with an insect larvae.
Eastern bluebird sitting on nestbox with an insect larvae. Meadows provide habitat for insects necessary for young song bird diets. Photo: Shumaila Bhatti

This work would not be possible without the support of our growing number of partners!

Sponsors:

Skaneateles Lake Association Logo Ernst Seeds logo Central New York Land Trust logo
Go Native Perennials logo Central New York Community Foundation logo