Harvesting Local Ecotype Eastern Gamma Grass
Neal Cook, NPAT Fayette Prairie Chapter member, has been cultivating grasses from the Fayette Prairie for decades. Seeds and plants from the local ecotype are important because these are adapted to the area and represent the most viable variety in restoration projects. We were delighted, therefore, when Neal offered to donate some of his eastern gamma grass to the chapter. Neal transplanted the original grasses from a stand near Plum Creek, which was set to be lost with the widening of Highway 71 in the 1980s. So on January 8, 2021, a small group of us drove to Neal’s place in Webberville, right on the Colorado River, and dug up enough eastern gamma to fill two pickup trucks. These were planted in good areas on two properties. The hope is that these grasses will prosper so that their seeds and sprouts can be planted on members’ property on the Fayette Prairie.