The St. Croix Valley Chapter of The Prairie Enthusiasts invites the public to explore local prairies during the Prairie Days event on Saturday, Sept. 7, beginning at 9 a.m.
“This is the first year The Prairie Enthusiasts has hosted this event and our local St. Croix Valley Chapter is excited to share our love for native grasslands with the public,” Ginny Gaynor, event chair, said. “This endangered ecosystem is our rain forest and they are right in our backyards.”
A schedule of the day is below. More information is available online at ThePrairieEnthusiasts.org or by contacting Gaynor at (715) 246-2746. There is no charge for admission and enthusiasts of all ages are encouraged to attend.
Saturday, Sept. 7
9-10:30 a.m.:Prairie tours held at the following locations. All tours start at the same time.
—Willow River State Park, 1034 County A: Explore the restored prairie near the park office at the front of park. See native plants. Experienced birders will help identify birds. Park fee is waived for participants in this tour.
—River Crest Elementary School, 535 County F: See a rain garden of native plants near the school entrance and a large prairie restoration east of the ball fields.
—Carpenter Nature Center, Cove Road: Explore the 300-acre nature preserve. Wildlife abounds in the restored prairie and wooded bluffs.
—Houlton School Prairie, 70 County E, Houlton: See a rain garden of native plants near the school and a prairie restoration east of the school.
—The Prairie Girls Home, 1007 80th Ave., Roberts: Prairies are a great landscape cover for suburban and rural lots. Come explore the prairies these homeowners have installed and tended. You’ll see planted prairies near the house, CRP native plantings, and venture beyond the pasture to explore a remnant prairie as well.
—Parnell Prairie, 1823 45th St., Somerset: The town of Somerset has been enhancing a prairie remnant at the old town dump site. Brush removal and a prescribed burn have invigorated the prairie plants. Come enjoy this local prairie near the peak of its fall color.
Additional guided prairie tours are scheduled in Hudson, Houlton, Star Prairie, Roberts, Somerset, Afton, Bayport, and River Falls.
9-10:30 a.m.: Draw and photograph
—Draw! Vera Ming Wong will demonstrate botanical drawing techniques and guide your own drawings. Bring drawing paper and a chair to Ogburn prairie in Hudson.
—Photography! A professional photographer will show you how to take great plant and bug photos at Ogburn prairie in Hudson.
11 a.m. : Rendezvous at Ogburn Prairie, 961 Badlands Road.
—Explore! Tours every half hour of the Ogburn native remnants and restored prairies. Go on a guided walk to identify pollinators and native prairie plants.
—Learn! Experts will be on hand to answer your questions on establishing and managing a prairie; eradicating buckthorn and other invasive species; and protecting our clean water. A red-tailed hawk and milk snake — native to prairies — will be shown.
—Eat! Red Pig and Truffle food truck will provide sandwiches and beverages for purchase.
Especially for kids there will be animal skulls, hay rides, a scavenger hunt, games, and paper making.