Prairie Smoke News and Events

Coming Soon!:  Field trips, Work days, and Membership meetings (members and nonmembers welcome)

Board Meetings (All members welcome, please RSVP to Barb Nigon):  June 12 (7:00 p.m. at Chester Woods), August 22 (Nigon's house), November 21 (Nigon's house).  

Fall Picnic at Chester Woods (members and nonmembers welcome): September 15 (shelter 6), 2:30 wagon tour, prairie walk, and meal

Annual Membership Meeting (members and nonmembers welcome):  January 26, 2020 at the Chatfield Public Library

Prairie Ecologist - Square Meter Photography Project

This is a special project Prairie Smoke members might find interesting. Square Meter Photography Project by Chris Helzer. Visit his website: Prairie Ecologist

Excerpt from Chris's website: September was another phenomenal month for my square meter photography project. There were lots of new species to add to my running total, but I also continue to be inspired by the simple process of trying to find beauty in a tiny space. The month started with a continuation of the Maximillian Sunflower flush from August and the myriad insects visit those blooms. However, as the sunflowers wilted, I continued to find plenty to photograph, including a few species I'd been hoping for and one, a vertebrate, I never expected.

Volunteer Opportunities:

Click here for information on a volunteer program for individuals with restored prairies who are willing to look for insects utilizing native host plants.

Do you have an idea for a field trip? If so, please contact Barb Nigon:

Prairie Smoke now has t-shirts for sale.  Contact any Board member or attend an event. Long sleeve t-shirts will be $12 and short sleeved t-shirts will be $10.

Top 10 Tallgrass Prairie Facts

Jeff Nielsen of BWSR sends in the following facts on tallgrass prairie, compiled by Minnesota DNR:

1. Native tallgrass is the MOST ENDANGERED ecosystem in North America and the foundation of PERENNIAL POLYCULTURE. – Kansas University
2. Native prairie root systems are the BEST natural soil anchors on earth.
3. In one acre of established prairie there is 24,000 pounds of roots. – Iowa State University
4. One acre of established prairie can ABSORB 9 inches of rainfall per hour before runoff occurs. – University of Northern Iowa
5. One acre of established prairie will INTERCEPT as much as 53 tons of water during a one inch per hour rain event. – University of Nebraska, Lincoln
6. Prairie foliage represents a surface area of 5 to 20 times larger than the soil area beneath it. – University of Nebraska, Lincoln
7. Prairie planted in roadside ditches makes highways safer by INCREASING the holding capacity for snow in the ditch provided the shoulder is mowed. – MDOT.
8. Natural competition of prairie plants REDUCES the occurrence of weeds in an area. – Iowa State University
9. Greater prairie diversity, creates biotic barriers to PREVENT weed invasion. – University of Minnesota
10. One acre of reconstructed prairie can produce more bioenergy than land used to grow corn for ethanol. – University of Minnesota

Head back to the Prairie Smoke Home Page