The Prairie

Preceding European settlement, prairies and oak savannas covered wide swaths of Southern Wisconsin. These prairies hold great biological diversity; inventories of plant communities alone may include hundreds of species, not including other species of animals, insects and soil life. Near the Somers Farm, these ecosystems may have interfaced with floodplain forests and wetland complexes along the Pike River. Today, oak savanna and prairie remnants are high fragmented communities. They are often at risk of being overtaken by deciduous forest and/or invasive non-native plants where they have not been destroyed for agriculture or developed for urban expansion. 

Charles Heide realized as he learned about native ecosystems that his family's land at the Somers Farm and Prairie included characteristics of these native habitats. He sought out partners in assessing and restoring the habitats at the Somers Farm and Prairie. In 2013, a partnership with Prairie Future Seed Company was initiated. After this, the work crew expanded to include passionate and knowledgeable conservationists, in addition to the family and friends.

Habitat at the Somers Farm and Prairie includes a high-quality prairie remnant, riparian areas, and oak savanna and additional recovery and restoration of agricultural lands into further native habitat. 

Learn more about The Somers Prairie by viewing information on the prairie's restoration and view pictures in our photo gallery.

RestorationPhoto Gallery