Prairies & Savannas

Prairies & Savannas

Why restore prairies and savannas?

Rare prairie and oak savannas support more than 180 species that are in decline, including Western meadowlark, Western bluebird, and Wayside aster. Less than two-percent of oak savanna and prairie habitat remains in the Willamette Valley compared to what pioneers encountered in the 1850s at the end of the Oregon Trail.  Buford Park is home to one of the largest prairie and savanna remnants in public ownership — over 1,000 acres!  For this reason, the Friends are expanding our efforts to restore prairie and savanna habitat across hundreds of acres on Buford Park.

“The Willamette Valley’s native oak and prairie habitats are among the most endangered in North America, harboring 189 species at risk of extinction, some of which occur nowhere else on Earth. Less than two percent of these original habitats survive, and what remains is subject to intense development pressures.” – The Nature Conservancy

Resources on savannah and prairie habitats

  • Overview of savanna and prairie habitat and restoration in the Willamette Valley and at Buford Park   (view PDF)
  • Map of habitat loss since 1850  (view PDF)
  • Guide to habitat types for grassland birds  (view PDF)
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  • Did You Know…

    Ninety-eight percent of native oak prairie and savanna habitats have disappeared from the Willamette Valley and may disappear altogether if no action is taken.
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