Spring Is Here; Let's Focus On The Prairie

Life on the prairie series to celebrate rock county nature

 

With winter safely behind us, the Blue Mounds State Park and Touch the Sky Prairie are seeing an increasing number of visitors enjoying the outdoors.

We don’t have lakes or mountains in Rock County, but we do enjoy our prairie vistas with their Sioux quartzite outcroppings, which are beautiful in themselves.

To call attention to these natural resources, we will celebrate Life on the Prairie, Summer 2015.

It’s an effort by Luverne Convention and Visitors Bureau, Blue Mounds State Park, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Minnesota DNR, Brandenburg Prairie Foundation, Council for Arts and Humanities Rock County and Luverne Area Chamber.

And the purpose is to honor the Northern Tallgrass Prairie in Rock County.

The Northern Tallgrass Prairie was once this continent’s largest ecosystem with over 30 million acres.

Today, less than 1 percent of the original Northern Tallgrass Prairie remains intact.

Rock County is home to approximately 2,500 acres with 1,000 acres at Touch the Sky Prairie and 1,500 acres at Blue Mounds State Park.

The prairie remained intact partially due to the prominent glacial ridge of Sioux quartzite that runs through the county.

On May 29, park manager Chris Ingebretsen will present “Bison at the Blue Mounds State Park” at 8 p.m. in the amphitheater.

On May 30, DNR botanist Fred Harris and herpetologist Jeff Leclere will present “Vernal Pools and Herps at Blue Mounds and Touch the Sky” at 10 a.m. in the state park interpretive center.

On June 13, author Jim Kersten will present “Our Amazing Sioux Quartzite Country” about the glacial ridge at 10 a.m. in the state park interpretive center.

On June 13, musician Paul Imhotle will present a concert on the prairie, “Sounds of Strings,” at 7 p.m. at the state part interpretive center.

On June 21, poet and author Freya Manfred will present “Words on the Prairie” at 3:30 p.m. at the state park interpretive center.

On Aug. 14, park manager Chris Ingebretsen will present “Bison at the Blue Mounds State Park” at 8 p.m. in the amphitheater.

On Aug. 15, naturalist Howard Paul of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will present “A Walk on the Prairie” at 9 a.m. starting at the west kiosk parking lot at Touch the Sky Prairie.

The events are free and open to the public.

The goal of this summer’s 2015 Life on the Prairie series is to educate, promote, preserve and expand the knowledge of native prairie in Southwest Minnesota.

Let’s pencil in these events and plan to enjoy the gifts Mother Nature blessed us with here in Rock County.

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