The Berry Prairie Blog

Native Biodiversity in a Rooftop Landscape


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May 21, 2014, 4:24 PM
This summer, the Berry Prairie will be undergoing an overhaul! We are in the final planning stages of designing the green roof remodel, and hope to start in the beginning of July. The new green roof will include many of the same plants, plus others that are native to within 200 miles of Laramie, but will have a very different look.
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Apr 21, 2014, 4:37 PM
For the third year in a row, our returning champion of First Bloomer makes its appearance! The Fewseed Draba (Draba oligosperma) is now in bloom! Huzzah!
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Apr 17, 2014, 4:43 PM
The Berry Prairie has become home to approximately 60 species of native grasses, forbs and shrubs, as well as 8 orders of insects (according to Master's student, Kyle Bolenbaugh, who is studying the green roof). Of course humans frequent the roof regularly, but this winter we added one more vertebrate species to our Celebrity Spotlight list: a rabbit!
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Apr 14, 2014, 4:53 PM
This is the time of year where are fingers are itching to get in the dirt, when our seed packets are singing our names, and when gardening blogs are seeing their maximum traffic. It's almost gardening season, and that means it's time to dream and prepare!
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Apr 8, 2014, 5:21 PM
After a long hiatus, the Berry Prairie is beginning to come alive again! The plants in the photos below are slowly but surely sprouting new leaves, putting out buds, and embracing the 55 degree warmth of spring.
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Sep 10, 2013, 7:10 PM
Blue flax is practically a weed wherever it grows. It's very pretty (love that blue color!), it's tough and drought-tolerant, and it reseeds by the bajillions, which makes it almost noxious in Laramie.
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Aug 21, 2013, 7:21 PM
Rock Springs, Wyoming is home to one heck of a pollinator enthusiast. Bill and his wife Valjean have lived at their current house for 7 years, and have turned its yard from a barren, weedy wasteland to a lush, overwhelmingly productive heaven. Seriously, I want to live in their garden.
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Aug 16, 2013, 7:47 PM
The Berry Prairie made its professional ecological debut last week at the annual Ecological Society of America conference in Minneapolis, MN. And although the final survivorship numbers were not as high as we may have liked (~52%) the Prairie was well received and ecologist from all over the world were excited to hear about the roof and the ecosystem services it helped facilitate.
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Aug 14, 2013, 7:53 PM
Whoa, it's been a long time since we put anything new up here! We've been hopping around the state doing outdoor education programs and pollinator awareness events, and haven't spent much time in the office. Speaking of pollinators, I have a cool story for you about bees in Rock Springs - that'll come later.
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Jul 22, 2013, 8:06 PM
A couple of weeks ago, Dr. Richard Sutton, professor of agronomy and horticulture at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, sent us an email to see if we'd like to try out a few different prairie plants on the green roof. It's part of a larger research project (see their website here) trailing three species' survivability and persistence through dry periods, cold, and varying "soil" depths.

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