Grassland Restoration in Virginia

Check out this page for information on our grassland restoration projects at The Clifton Institute.

For grassland restoration work on my personal property read on! I have always enjoyed killing alien plant species. But now that my wife and I own a five-acre property in Fauquier County, VA, I have taken my passion for controlling invasive species and fostering natives to a new level. We started out by girdling the large princess trees and tree-of-heaven on the property. Within months, the woodpeckers and Great Crested Flycatchers appreciated the new dead trees. We also stopped mowing most of the land and then moved on to knocking back the Tall Fescue, Japanese Stiltgrass, and Small Carpetgrass that covered much of our one-acre meadow.


The fescue-dominated meadow before restoration.

Then, in consultation with local restoration experts, we selected 27 native forb and grass species to plant in the meadow from seeds or seedlings. The exotic grasses are fierce but we have made a lot of progress in restoring habitat for native pollinators and other species. We are also planting a variety of native shrubs and trees with the goal of providing host plants for insects and food for wildlife.


The same meadow after planting, with blooming partridge pea and blue vervain.

As we witness the rebound of native species, we are working hard to identify and document all of the species that occur on the property. Check out our iNaturalist project here:


Gray hairstreak on roundhead bushclover.


Silvery checkerspot on false sunflower.


Smooth blue aster.


Tall coreopsis.


New England aster with native bees.

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