Grasslands are being lost. Grassland birds are at risk. You can help!
Do you own grasslands (including old fields, pasture, hayfields and farms) on property in eastern Greene County? Are you willing to incorporate a few simple management practices on your grasslands to manage for grassland bird conservation? If so, you may be interested in learning more about becoming a Grassland Habitat Steward with the Greene Land Trust...
(For more detailed information about grassland habitat stewardship, please read our grassland landowner guidebook: "Conserving Greene County Grasslands: A Landowner's Guide". Call the Greene Land Trust to request a copy at 518-731-5544.)
Who is eligible to become a Grassland Habitat Steward?
Any landowner that has all of the following attributes:
1. Owns 10 or more acres of grassland, or land restorable to grassland; and,
2. Owns grassland located in the Greene County Grassland Conservation Focus Area; and,
3. Is willing to commit to the voluntary "Grassland Habitat Stewardship Pledge".
Assistance and Support for Grassland Habitat Stewards:
Once you have signed the Grassland Habitat Stewardship Pledge, the Greene Land Trust will work with you to manage your grasslands and promote your stewardship commitment. Grassland Habitat Stewards will receive:
- Attractive property signs to communicate voluntary habitat stewardship.
- A site-specific Habitat Management Plan (click here for an example).
- A copy of "Conserving Greene County Grasslands: A Landowner's Guide".
- A beautiful "Grassland Birds of Greene County" poster with illustrations by nationally acclaimed local artist, James Coe.
- Recognition in Greene Land Trust publications, website and events.
- Technical assistance, when resources allow, with grassland habitat management.
10 Simple Actions for Grassland Habitat Stewardship:
A few simple management practices can go a long way toward providing good habitat fordeclining grassland-dependent bird species and other wildlife. The Greene Land Trust can help you find a balance of practices that are complimentary with how your land is used in relation to what grassland birds need. Here are a few recommended grassland management practices to consider.
- Nesting season is May through July. Grassland birds nest on the ground, so keep grassland areas as undisturbed as possible during these three critical months.
- Mow grasslands (after August 1st) every 2-3 years to keep out trees, shrubs and weeds.
- Plant grass seed to maintain a diversity of grass heights and densities.
- Help to reduce nest predation risks, especially by cats.
- Consider removing hedgerows - these are seen as "walls" by grassland birds and limit their habitat, as well as provide corridors for nest predators.
- Keep grassland areas free of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers.
- Monitor for invasive grassland plants.
- Manage any wetlands or wet meadows on the property for habitat.
- To enhance bird habitat, install nest boxes or perching posts.
- Post conservation signage to increase awareness of grassland bird habitat stewardship.