Last week, I took another camera walk through the prairie in my ongoing quest to document the summer's changing color palette. It was early evening, and the sun was just starting to set. It was quiet and as I walked, I could hear birds fluttering and bunnies scurrying to hide in the tall grasses. The prairie was golden, dotted with purple and white. Black-eyed Susan, bee balm, purple coneflower, and Queen Anne's lace are just a few of the native plants blooming in mid-July.
As I walked the winding paths, I was saddened to think about the extent to which the landscape of our state has changed. One hundred fifty years ago, 85% of our state was tall-grass prairie just like this. Today, less than 0.1% of the prairie remains.
Many groups are working within our state to restore native prairie areas such as this one. Yet sadly, many of our citizens do not understand or appreciate the wild beauty of this type of landscape. Some look at native plants and consider them weeds. They dislike the untamed, natural look of the prairie and would prefer it to be replaced with manicured grass.
Thanks to a thoughtfully constructed land development plan, the prairie in our neighborhood is not at risk. In my opinion, it's the best part of living in this community. I hope that over time, more citizens will come to appreciate and work to restore areas like this.