Current State

Praying Mantis on Big Bluestem (Credit: Janet Markman)

The 284-acre Hilltop Reservation serves as an ecological oasis within an urban / suburban landscape – nearly 90% of the land within two miles is developed.  Its various types of habitats — dry oak-hickory forest, wet maple-tupelo forest, open meadows and shrublands — can support a high diversity of plants and animals.  However, past intense human uses of the Hilltop area (agriculture, prison annex, tuberculosis treatment sanatorium, leaf composting facility, County hospital) require specific strategies and plans to reverse more than a century of habitat degradation.

In 2014 the Hilltop Conservancy commissioned an Ecological Assessment to document the Hilltop’s ecological values and conditions, and to identify future stewardship priorities to maximize its ecological health.  Please read the report and appendixes listed below to learn more about why and how the Conservancy is pursuing wildlife habitat restoration in the Reservation.

Ecological Assessment – Main Report
Ecological Assessment – Maps
Ecological Assessment – FWS Wetland Restoration Agreement
Ecological Assessment – Red-headed Woodpecker Fact Sheet
Ecological Assessment – Highlands Detention Basin Proposal