2016 is winding down and it was another exciting and very productive year at the Shaker Trace Nursery. The harvest has been exceptional in both quantity and duration due, in part, to the amount of rain we received. Seed processing is still going on and we won’t know the total yield until later, but it’s safe to say it will be up from previous years.
To start the year, we germinated, grew and planted more than 7,000 native plants for the nursery. With those plants, we were able to create eight new production beds and also add on to five existing beds. Shaker Trace Nursery was also able to provide 497 pounds of native seed that was used to create mixes for four reclamation projects that covered 56 acres. Having the resources to supply our own fresh, local genotype seed is a great benefit to all. Not only does it help match the environmental conditions found in our region, which can greatly improve the success of the plantings, but harvesting our own seed saved Great Parks approximately $32,000 over the cost of purchased seed. We also provided seed to fill 1,000 seed packs to give away to new volunteers and to the hundreds of community members who attended the spring public listening sessions, Shaker Trace Nursery open house and many nursery tours.
Native plants aren’t the only things growing at the nursery. Public interest seems to be growing as well. Many groups came out to tour the nursery this year, including a Miami University botany class, the National Walnut Council, the Hamilton County Soil & Water Conservation District and the Cincinnati Nature Center to name just a few.
The Shaker Trace Nursery is a wonderful resource for both education and local genotype seed. As the 2016 season comes to a close, I want to say thanks to all the loyal, hardworking, dedicated volunteers who have helped make the Shaker Trace Nursery what it is today.
Tim Osborne, Shaker Trace Nursery Manager, Miami Whitewater Forest