To fulfill our role as good stewards of Circle Sanctuary's land, many efforts have taken place over the years to manage the land in an ecologically-sound way. Prairie restoration efforts have been underway since 1997, using prescribed burns and seeding of native prairie plants.
In 2012, as a work item stemming from our Strategic Planning process, a Nature Preserve committee was started. This committee, drawing from the talents and knowledge of community members with deep backgrounds in forestry and environmental science, developed a plan to identify and mitigate issues. This plan identified the following goals:
- Maximize Species Diversity - Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve features oak woodland, prairie, stream and wetland habitats.
- Build Community Engagement - seek to develop the Nature Preserve by increasing accessibility, improve conservation-focused program, and develop a volunteer corps to undertake restorative work.
- Improve Organizational Use - Circle land is also home to a year-round spiritual organization, which hosts spiritual events. These events present a demand for high-quality camping areas, and those who come to the land expect good access to shrines and other features.
- Tend the Spirit of the Land - As a community rooted in sacred land, the health of the community is tied to the health of the land. Conservation efforts must be done in a way which develops deeper bonds between the land and those who come to it.
The first set of recommendations were published in March of 2013, and work based on those recommendations has been underway ever since. This plan is an evolving document which will be refined as conditions change.
Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve has a group of volunteers who come out during Sanctuary Days, as well as weeknights in the warmer months. If you would like more information on volunteering, please contact Operations Manager Bob Paxton.