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Conservation, Education, and Community Building through Prairie Restoration

Webinar replay from February 10, 2020

The mission of the Dyck Arboretum of the Plains in Hesston, KS is to cultivate transformative relationships between people and the land. Since the Arboretum’s establishment in 1981, a major outlet of its mission has been to display horticultural landscaping with examples of small prairie pocket gardens, using native plants that the public can see and emulate in their own home landscapes.

In 2004, Dyck Arboretum expanded its educational outreach and started the process of developing a large seeded prairie reconstruction, the “Prairie Window Project,” for visitors to experience a living example of the ecosystem that once dominated Kansas. This species-rich eight-acre prairie reconstruction was implemented with four plantings over a six-year period on a former agricultural field. Plant species inventories and Floristic Quality Assessments were conducted on 75 remnant prairies within a 60-mile radius of Hesston.

With the help of many volunteers from college students to retirees, Arboretum staff collected, cleaned, mixed, and planted the seed to form the Prairie Window Project. In addition to producing a diverse prairie reconstruction that attracts wildlife and people, this project has produced other valuable benefits related to seed ecotype and prairie remnant conservation, science education, and community building.

Join Brad Guhr for this informative webinar to learn more about this exciting prairie project at Dyck Arboretum of the Plains.

Brad Guhr is the Education/Prairie Restoration Coordinator at the Dyck Arboretum of the Plains in Hesston, KS. Brad’s education includes a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Bethel College in N. Newton, KS (1992) and an M.S. in Landscape Architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1998). At UW-Madison, he focused on studies in botany, ecology, techniques in prairie restoration, and the interdependence between prairies and human communities. Brad’s prior work experience was as a botanist and wetland scientist for the environmental consulting division of Burns & McDonnell in Kansas City.

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