Saturday, September 6, 2008


It's all right here, the whole story. The tallgrass prairie of big bluestem and Indian grass interspersed with deep taprooted forbs like the compass plant and abundant forbs like the tall coreopsis. Plants such as these covered the land for centuries, since the last glacier departed more than ten thousand years past. Wide spreading thick bark oak trees made occasional stands in the tallgrass prairie. All of the prairie, or very nearly so, was plowed under for the sake of farming, for the growing of another kind of tallgrass, corn, and for growing softer European pasture grasses for the cattle. Most of the oaks became lumber for houses and barns and fences and firewood and the farms were soon sheltered from the driving prairie winds by linear unnatural rows of other less stately trees.
But in some places, we are putting some of the prairie back and we are teaching our kids about how beautiful and valuable the prairie is so that they might continue to preserve what is left and restore what can be restored and plant prairie gardens where there is no longer any trace of prairie. The history is rich with stories of people and their struggles and the future is bright for the direction we have set with places like this prairie recreation on the land of an historic farm, now a museum where families learn together.


Dennis said...

It's always great to read about the prairie. I'm glad there are folks who want to see the prairie preserved. I know Illinois went from 22 million acres of prairie to 2000 acres in just over 50 years, so it's very cool to see it being restored in some places. Thanks for writing about tall grass.

goprairie said...

check out my other blog - i don't post there regularly but in big spurts as i have time - it is