Rolfsmeier, Steven B. Undated. The Flora of Two Oak Drainages at the Red Cedar Area, Southwestern Saunders County, Nebraska. Nebraska Game and Parks Commission. 33 pp.
The Red Cedar Area is a 175 acre recreational/wildlife area occupying the SE¼ sec. 20, T14N R5E and a small portion of sec. 29 directly to the south. The area is located in the glacial-till hills of southeast Nebraska ca 5 mi. north and 2 mi. west of Valpraiso. The bulk of the area was cultivated farmland prior to purchase by the NRD, and nearly all upland areas here were cultivated cropland, save for some steep oak-wooded drainages on the east side of Hunter’s Slough, which ran northwest to southeast through the property. The creek was dammed after NRD purchase and a 51 acre lake created which occupies the bulk of the south-central portion of the property. The cultivated ground has been reseeded with warm and cool-season grasses and are periodically hayed. Both oak drainages have been preserved, and presently serve as refugia for native woodland and prairie species found on this land prior to settlement.
This study concentrates on the present flora of a 12 acre drainage of open oak woods with interspersed “islands” of prairie plants found on the interfluves; and an area of similar size containing closed canopy “bluff” forest just south of this drainage on a moderate to steep west-facing slope above what was the channel of Hunter’s Slough. These woods are bisected by an east-west county road wich runs along the top of the lake dam; it is the south portion of these woods that are included in this study, along with associated habitats in the NRD property below the dam, primarily east of the drainage channel.