Holy Wisdom Monastery to restore 30 acres of landscape

Holy Wisdom Monastery to restore 30 acres of landscape
iStock / szefei

The Holy Wisdom Monastery will begin restoring 30 acres of its land to oak savanna this month.
Oak savanna is considered to be Wisconsin’s rarest plant community by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

After European settlement in the 1840s, savannas were plowed for crops and trees were able to fill in the canopy gaps that had previously allowed the sun to shine down so savanna grasses could grow. Savanna is now one of the rarest ecological communities in North America, according to Holy Wisdom Monastery’s director of Land Management and environmental education, Greg Armstrong.
“It is very exciting to be restoring savanna at Holy Wisdom Monastery. The first thing to do is plant oak trees. Oak trees are fire-tolerant and can easily survive the prescribed burns that will mimic the fire conditions of pre-settlement Wisconsin. When the trees are more mature, in another 20 years or so, we will then add in some signature savanna understory plants, some of which are now rare and little-known,” said Armstrong.

Holy Wisdom Monastery is going to attempt to bring back the savanna landscape.

The monastery is a retreat and meeting center in Middleton. The monastery was established in 1953. It offers environmental education and spirituality programs throughout the year, restoration volunteer opportunities and Christian church services on Sundays.