Grassland Restoration

Chris Penner of Ecological  Restoration Services collecting Big Bluestem seeds for the Discovery Nature Sanctuary's grassland restoration project.

Harvested native grass seed.

 Image yourself, 250 years ago, standing on the wide open plains of southern Manitoba. What you would have seen around you was a sea of tall undulating grasses. In amongst the grasses, you would have seen a variety of beautiful flowering plants. This was Manitoba's tall grass prairie, home to a host of insects and other animals. Fast forward to today and most likely you wouldn't even see a blade of native grass around you.

​The Discovery Nature Sanctuary (DNS), however, is working toward establishing a "memory" of that past prairie, by establishing native grassland on about 6.5 acres. To date, efforts have been made to control non-native plants on this site thereby reduce competition for nutrient resources. This spring (2023) will be next critical step in this grassland restoration project. Native grass seeds will be planted with the hope they will get firmly established over their first growing season. In the future, you will be "back in time" when you visit the DNS and once again see a sea of native grasses.

​The DNS is grateful to the Manitoba Habitat Heritage Corporation ( for providing funding for this project through its Conservation Trust fund. Also, the DNS appreciates the support of the Pembina Valley Watershed District for facilitating the grant application and managing funds received through the grant.