Mueller Southwest Greenway Prairie Evaluation

Siglo Group was commissioned by RVi Planning & Landscape Architecture to evaluate the successes and opportunities of the Mueller Prairie, which started as an effort to transform a piece of urban land into a functioning Blackland Prairie. The evaluation included a plant survey, review of wildlife sightings, an invasive plant species inventory, and assessment of erosion issues. This process highlighted the health of native plant populations, while incorporating the park user experience within the prairie system.

The assessment concluded that invasive species were a major threat to the intent and integrity of the original prairie design. Following installation, there was a steep decline in the original seeded and planted material and a simultaneous increase in invasive plant species dominance. This was attributed to numerous factors, which included weather conditions, drought, lack of an adaptive management approach, and the reality that an invasive seed bank is ever-present in urban systems.

Immediate next steps recommended in this assessment included the implementation of invasive species management, additional plantings, restoration of small areas dominated by King Ranch bluestem and Bermudagrass, and formalization of eroded social trails. The land manager began the process of integrating these recommendations into their management plan as of the summer of 2019.