Why The Prairie Enthusiasts?

Incoming TPE Executive Director Debra Behrens tells the story of her journey into her new role. 

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This Month in the Driftless, September 2020

Here's a recap of Driftless Area phenology from the past month, written by our very own Pat Trochlell.  Pat's inspiration comes from her career as a wetland ecologist with the Wisconsin DNR.  She and her husband, Ken Wade, live near and are stewards of TPE's 30-acre Parrish Oak Savanna, a diverse woodland ecosystem of over 240 native species.

Follow our Facebook page to read Pat's column once a week.

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Park Gone Wild

This article was a collaboration with Jeff Feece of Rochester Parks.

Prairie Crossing Park in Rochester, Minnesota is living up to its name as the park's managers strive to restore native plants to the site.  Members of TPE's Minnesota Driftless Chapter joined the volunteer efforts there earlier this month.

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Seed Shed Doings, September 2020

It's been 4 years since our chapter started the Species Conservation Project (SCP) in northwest Illinois (see the feature article in the March 2016 Prairie Promoter here), and in those years I have occasionally written about the rare plant gardens we started to help the SCP along.

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This Month in the Driftless, August 2020

Here's a recap of Driftless Area phenology from the past month, written by our very own Pat Trochlell.  Pat's inspiration comes from her career as a wetland ecologist with the Wisconsin DNR.  She and her husband, Ken Wade, live near and are stewards of TPE's 30-acre Parrish Oak Savanna, a diverse woodland ecosystem of over 240 native species.

Follow our Facebook page to read Pat's column once a week.

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The Monarch Monitors

This article was a collaboration with Grace Vosen.

In 2019, the site stewards of Moely Prairie joined forces with Sauk Prairie High School to implement a summer internship program.  Participants report to the prairie once a week and conduct monarch monitoring research.  Not only are these exceptional students documenting meaningful data for scientists, but they are also learning about the need to preserve vanishing pollinator habitats.

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Update on the New Ulm School Prairies

This article was a collaboration with Grace Vosen and is an update to an article in our August 2019 newsletter.  Read the original piece here (navigate to page 5).

The New Ulm (Minnesota) area is seeing a renewed interest in prairie.  Residents, and especially educators, are working to understand the history of prairies and to restore them on the landscape.  Since 2017, TPE’s Many Rivers Chapter has been partnering with two local schools to create outdoor classrooms.

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Free Prairie Curriculum Ready for Use

How do children learn to care for the land?  Often, it’s time spent outside with a family member that first makes them curious about nature.  But teachers also have the power to spark curiosity.  Walter Mirk of TPE’s Glacial Prairie Chapter has created a resource to bring the prairie into the classroom.

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Native Habitat as an Educational Centerpiece

In the heart of Driftless Wisconsin, Viroqua is home to the TPE chapter support office. We are lucky to be surrounded by many prairie remnants and State Natural Areas (like Romance Prairie). Within walking distance of the office are several public native gardens. One consists of a planted prairie and small oak savanna between two schools.

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Pleasant Valley Pollinator Corridor

This article was a collaboration with Pamela Eyden.

Motivated to reverse habitat loss and fragmentation, a team of private landowners (the Pleasant Valley Pollinator Corridor or PVPC Team) began this spring to work toward creating a pollinator corridor in Pleasant Valley outside Winona, Minn. These landowners have worked for many years to manage natural areas and establish native plantings on their own private properties. Creating a corridor of native habitats in the 10-mile long valley was a new step. 

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