Welsch Tract, Dade CountyPosted: August 15, 2012 at 8:13 pm
Purchased in 2010 thanks to a generous gift from Dr. Clifford Welsch, the 80-acre Welsch Tract lies immediately west of MPF’s Coyne Prairie.Since 2010, MPF has performed intensive restoration of the tract, which contained a historic but degraded 16-acre savanna, 17 acres of impenetrable brush and invasive exotic plants, and a 47-acre crop field. The savanna has been thinned, revealing the its original canopy structure. In early 2013, 15 mixes of locally harvested prairie plant seed were seeded to the former crop field. Brush, honeysuckle, and other invasives have been tackled. Additional work is needed to complete restoration, including seeding herbaceous plants in the savanna. Witnessing the recovery of this tract of land is exciting, and we invite others to tour the land.
Directions: Welsch Tract is located in Dade County on CR 41, about 15 miles east of Lamar. Drive 3 miles west of Highway 97 on Highway E, then south on CR 41 for 1 mile. Parking is available on the rough gravel lot on the east side of CR 41. The savanna and prairie reconstruction are immediately northeast of this area. By GPS, N37 30.234 W94 0.274 (in decimal degrees, 37.503900, -94.004567).
MPF’s Prairie Operations Manager Richard Datema hand cut invading trees from this 16-acre historic savanna on the Welsch Tract. Unwanted trees were removed from the 16-acre savanna. The transformation of the area from thick woody growth to an open canopy structure is evident in this sequence of photos. Susan Parrish photos.