Restored Prairie & Oak Savanna
Prairie and oak savanna are rare today in Minnesota – only about 1% of original prairie and 0.1% of original oak savanna remain. The prairie and oak savanna of the Abbey Arboretum are “constructed” and restored. According to historical records, when the Benedictines arrived the closest prairies were in Avon and St. Joseph. In the mid-1980s, Fr. Paul Schwietz began making plans to convert old cow pastures and farm fields to wetlands, prairie and savanna. This Habitat Restoration Project has resulted in about 150 acres of a healthy prairie, oak savanna and wetland ecosystem.