Arts on the Prairie

A celebration of the 125 anniversary of the American national parks and the 100th anniversary of Minnesota state parks

This year is the 100th anniversary of Minnesota state parks and the 125th anniversary of America’s national parks.

To celebrate, a summer of special events and activities has been planned at the Blue Mounds State Park and Touch the Sky Prairie.

The first of those events is set for this weekend when park manager Chris Ingebretsen shares the story of Blue Mounds State Park bison.

The event will be at 8:30 p.m. Saturday, May 28, in the state park amphitheater near the campgrounds.

Ingebretsen will explain how the local herd was developed and how park staff members care for the creatures. He’ll also talk about the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ efforts to keep the herd pure and maintain its 100-percent genetic American bison makeup.

The evening’s information will address how these animals provided more than food, clothing and shelter to Native Americans and how these animals connected heart, mind, body and soul.

Similar presentations will also be made June 25 and Sept. 3.

Prairie celebration events in June include photographer Brian Peterson’s photo program and prairie photography walk on June 11.

Peterson is a photojournalist who recently published “Minnesota State of Wonders,” a 2014 adventure of photographing the four corners of Minnesota.

That same weekend, on June 12, the late author Fred Manfred’s story of “Lord Grizzly” will come to life in a presentation by his children, Fred and Freya.

They will read excerpts from the novel based on the true story of Hugh Glass and provide a comparative narrative of the book with the Academy Award-winning movie, “Revenant.”

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