A century and a half ago, Iowans were trying to tame the wild prairie and carve a new life into this new state. Now, Iowans are striving to save what’s left of that native grassland. Mark Loeschke, a botanist with the Iowa D-N-R’s Wildlife Bureau, is helping organize today’s Prairie Rescue Workday. He says tasks will include things like: gathering seeds from certain native plants for later plantings, burning, and cutting brush and trees. Loeschke says helpers need to dress appropriately for the weather.Volunteers will help do things in three native prairie areas in Polk, Jasper and Howard counties. Loeschke says Iowa was about 85-percent prairie when it was settled by the Europeans. It’s now less than one-percent prairie. He says the volunteer help is greatly appreciated though he can’t specify what each person will be tasked to do. He says the activities will vary by site.The largest of the projects are underway today at the Chichaqua Wildlife Area in Polk County and at the Hayden Prairie in Howard County. For more information, surf to “www.keepersoftheland.org”.
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