Check out the new Habitat Corridor experience at Valley View Park! Complete with a trail, benches, and information signage, this habitat corridor is restoring the Valley View prairie! The original area of the tallgrass prairie has declined by 99%, making it the most endangered ecosystem in North America. Conversion to agriculture has been the primary reason for this decline. It has resulted in increased soil erosion and pesticide usage while decreasing habitat for grassland breeding birds and pollinator insects.
The former agricultural site in Valley View Park was replanted in 2020 with dozens of native wildflower and grass species. Additional areas have been restored north and south of McPherson Avenues, just west of Mosquito Creek. These plant communities provide natural habitat along the Mosquito Creek for many Iowa species of concern.
In the initial years following planting, annual "colonizer" species take advantage of the bare soil to spread and multiply. While it may appear weedy during this transition, the seedlings of many perennial plants are spending their energy developing a deep root system. Some prairie plants have roots up to 15 feet deep, making them the best natural soil anchors on earth! After three to five years, the perennial species become dominant, leaving little room for the weedy "colonizers."
Valley View Park includes restored tallgrass prairie and woodland habitat, planted with a diverse mix of native species suitable for a wide range of pollinators. Wetlands and woodlands have been similarly restored on the north and south sides of McPherson Avenue, just west of Mosquito Creek. These sites contribute to a habitat corridor along Mosquito Creek where pollinators can travel to find needed resources throughout the growing season.
Learn more about Valley View Park here!