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Native Planting at Altarum - August 3, 2004

Installation of native plants is progressing at the Altarum Institute, after a spectacular burn performed in July.

As encouraged by the Millers Creek Watershed Improvement Plan, Altarum is lessening its lawn and increasing the amount of native plants on its Ann Arbor property. Seeding of the native plants happened on August 3, 2004. The process to seed the area, which is located to the south of the Green Court building and includes about an acre of former lawn, was started by killing the established grass using herbicide. To eliminate dead grass, Greg Vaclavek of the Native Plant Nursery implemented a burn. The burn removed the dead material and provided a nutrient-rich seedbed for the newly established vegetation.

After seeding the area with a mixture of native wildflowers and grasses, a layer of weed-free straw was spread to reduce erosion and retain soil moisture. In addition to the four species of native grass and over 25 species of perennial flowers seeded, annual oats or rye was also spread to help with erosion and weed reduction over the first growing season.

After just three weeks, green vegetation began to grow! This is the start of Altarum's new native prairie. As the seedlings grow and the area matures, please check back for progress reports and photographs of the area in the future.

The Altarum Institute is a nonprofit research and innovation institution with more than 55 years of success in research, development, and deployment of advanced information technology and decision support systems solutions that promote the sustainable well-being of society. We have major operations in Michigan, Washington, D.C., and Texas. To learn more about the Altarum Institute, please visit our website. For more information on the native planting that has taken place, please e-mail Dr. Nancy French.