Covia Holdings LLC

Kasota Prairie and Plant

Kasota, Minnesota, United States

Certified Gold through 2022

Project Name
Project Type
CR Farms II
Wetlands & Water Bodies
New Country School Wood Duck Houses
Formal Learning
About the Program
The Covia Holdings Corporation - Kasota Prairie and Plant site is located in Le Sueur County, MN. The site spans approximately 2,800 acres, of which about 780 acres are in various stages of mining and about 80 acres are in row-crop agricultural production. The remaining 1,900 acres consist of a variety of relatively natural habitat types ranging from floodplain forests to upland prairie, including a 175-acre grassland habitat and 59.27-acre wetland area. The conservation objectives of the grassland project include maintaining existing lands that are open to the public for recreational purposes, creating educational opportunities and developing natural habitat for species native to the area. The team works to improve the existing habitat for the northern bobwhite quail through the creation of nesting areas and pollinator plots that provide quail forage. They also increase the odds of quail survival by releasing birds on a large, contiguous area of land. The goal of this project is to successfully reintroduce a northern bobwhite quail population at the facility. The team additionally provides suitable nesting locations for northern saw-whet and eastern screech owls. The team is also working to create a functional wetland habitat, providing nesting area for wood ducks and facilitating waterfowl research.

Practices and Impacts
  •  The Covia staff conduct an annual review of the prairie with Prairie Restorations, Inc. and Save the Kasota Prairie representatives. The review meeting determines on the best course of management action for the following year. The team conducts a mixture of controlled burns, integrated plant management, spot mowing and manual removal of invasive species.
  • The team purchased nine incubators and a surrogator to house newly hatched quail until they are mature enough to be released.
  • The team installed five nesting boxes to support northern saw-whet and eastern screech owls.
  • The team works with students from New Country School to install, maintain and monitor wood duck boxes. Installing wood duck boxes enhances what is already considered a suitable habitat.
  • The team works with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to host waterfowl banding sessions during the spring and fall migratory periods.
  • The team monitors hydrologic conditions in the constructed wetland to ensure that maximum inundation levels are not exceeded. The regulations regarding maximum output were considered when designing the habitat. Covia ensures that the wetland remains a community of native plants by conducting vegetation monitoring during the growing season.