The Woodland Transformation is in its 4 th season. As one walks the 1500' of trails, one will see a variety of newly planted and mature woodland, savanna plants, sedges and grasses including;  
No Mow Grass, Prairie Dropseed, Ivory Sedge, Little Blue Stem, Switch Grass, Purple Lovegrass, June Grass, Tufted Hairgrass, Eastern Star Sedge, Plains Oval Sedge, Long Beaked Sedge, Bottlebrush Grass, Virginia Wild Rye, Slender Wheat Grass, Prairie Brome, Silky Wild Rye, Blue Grama, Fibrousroot Sedge, Pennsylvania Sedge, Jacob's Ladder, Lead Plant, Culvers Coot, Graceful Sedge, Wood Sedge, New Jersey Tea, Purple Prairie Clover, Early Meadow Rue, Wild Ginger, Wild geranium, Hayscented Fern, Virginia Waterleaf, Hoary Vervain, Many Flowered Sedge, Wild Indigo, Wild Bleeding heart, Marginal Fern, Black Eye Susan, Golden Alexander, June Grass, Rough Blazing Star, Meadow Blazing StaR,  Common Ox-eye, Showy Goldenrod, Prairie Voilet, Yellow Voilet, Prairie Onion, and Side Oats Grama,  plus various shrubs such as Chokecherry, High Bush Cranberry, Hazelnut, etc.
 (Many others have yet to germinate or are not yet 



Three woodland areas were prepared and seeded last fall and  early spring. They are being  managed via spot treating selective weeds and weedy grasses and brush cutting to keep weeds from going to seed and to allow grasses and flowers the necessary sun and water to establish themselves. This is a slow process and will continue up through next season. Unseasonably hot and dry weather this spring and summer has been a challenge. 

As a result, a watering system has been put in place with two spigot stations, one at woods edge and the other within woods, for timely watering of new plantings. One additional spigot station will be installed at woods edge in north end. This becomes most helpful with watering new trees and shrubs which often require gallons of water each week to get established, given the sandy soil.

Our  Woodland is a mixed forest. Many tree species are represented, and the few undesirable species (selective American Elm, Siberian Elms, selective Boxelder's and two Cottonwoods) will gradually be replace over the coming years. Some of the most desirable trees one might spot are:

Mulberry, Red Maple, Silver Maple, Sugar Maple, Autumn Blaze Maple, Red Oak, Cedar, Spruce, Black Cherry,  Basswood, and Walnut. 

This fall, in order to minimize expenses, I am growing from seed a variety of savanna and woodland grasses, 175 plugs, beyond what has already been planted this spring, such as Little Blue Stem, Prairie Dropseed, Bottle Brush Grass, Silky Wild Rye, Prairie Brome, Fibrous root Sedge and Side Oats Grama. 

  • First and foremost--to give witness to and thanks for God's creation. 
  • To experience the complexity of all He has made. 
  • A means for TLO School staff and students to gather in a peaceable environment, giving thanks to God via outdoor worship and bible study. 
  • For special events or as a school-based educational tool centered around science classes, religious classes, etc. 
  • For some, just to escape to a calm and shaded place to walk their dogs. 
Our hope is that the Forest will serve the needs of both Church and School; broadening our ministries in service and love towards Christ and each other.


Cash donations are much needed in order to continue restoring and even speed up the transformation of woodlands via eradication of weeds and the planting of native plant/grass/shrubs and trees. Plant and grass plugs, purchased from suppliers, can range from $7.50 for a tray of 6 small starter plugs up to $3.00 for a more mature 4" plant plug depending on availability and source.  

Mature trees (#20-25 pots) and shrubs will be made able at wholesale prices (60-75% off retail). Plants at wholesale prices will cost $6 per pot which can be split up into 2-4 smaller plantings. Please faithfully consider making a generous tax deductible donation to the TLO "Forest Restoration Account".  

If you have a desire to donate a new potted tree/shrub or from your own property any native woodland and/or savanna plants that you can split up this fall for our forest, please contact Will Traeger via text at 651-788-6455 or  click to email Will  All native plants/grasses/shrubs/trees must be preapproved by our DNR Representative and Will Traeger before it is dropped off later in September/October behind shed for planting. Will Traeger will gladly plant each donated plant in appropriate location and mulch and water.


My Grandmother had a porch full of seasonal potted plants and flowers. They literally thrived. She actually talked to and sang to them. She believed they'd respond to the attention given them. And wouldn't you know it, in 1973, Dorothy Retallack experimenting at the Colorado Women's College in Denver, using three separate laboratories containing the same species of plants, piped in different types of music to each facility. She recorded the daily growth of each plant. The results were quite surprising.
The plants in the laboratory where music was played daily for three hours a day grew twice as large and became twice as healthy as those in a music-free environment. On the other extreme, plants in the laboratory where music was played for eight hours a day died within two weeks of the start of the experiment. 

The group that heard rock turned out to be sickly and small whereas the other group grew large and healthy. What's more surprising is that the plants listening to the soothing music bent towards the radio just as they bend towards the sunlight. Read more.
So if you take a walk in the woods and hear singing, don't be surprised if you spot me in the distance!!
In Christ, Will Traeger