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The Tablelands

Bob Yukich
Bob Yukich

In general, tablelands refers to the flat plateau areas between the ravines. In High Park, this name refers to the natural area north of the Grenadier Cafe and south of the playing fields, bounded by West Road and Colborne Lodge Drive.

The plant community here is a mix of tallgrass prairie and Black Oak Savannah, as well as some introduced trees such as sugar maples and Austrian pines.

Adopt-a-Plot Program

To further extend the restoration work of the Volunteer Stewardship Program (VSP) in the park, an Adopt-a-plot Program was launched in 1999. This program allowed individuals or groups of volunteers to adopt a plot within a designated area and plant or seed them with native plants to help restore the site. Thirteen adopt-a-plots on the Tablelands between the baseball diamonds and the Grenadier Restaurant (see map) were restored this way.

High Park Stewards

In more recent years this area has been restored by volunteers as part of the VSP/High Park Stewards regular Sunday work activities. In addition, one little-used picnic area was removed and the area replanted with native vegetation.

The Results

The Tablelands is a beautiful example of the remnant Black Oak Savanna, which is an endangered ecosystem that needs to be preserved and protected. The Tablelands, which at one time was a mown lawn, now shows promising signs of natural regeneration of red and black oaks, and rebounding populations of native tall grasses such as Big Bluestem, Little Bluestem, and Indian Grass, as well as typical savanna wildflowers such as Wild Bergamot, Woodland Sunflower, and Black-eyed Susan, legumes such as Showy Tick Trefoil and Round Headed Bush Clover, and shrubs such as New Jersey Tea, St. John's Wort, and Smooth Rose.

The diversity of native plants has greatly increased in this area. Other plants that have been re-established are Wild Lupines and Butterfly Weed.

See also:

Grasses & Sedges

Black Oak Savannah

High Park Stewards

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Content last modified on November 26, 2013, at 12:47 AM EST