If you’re in the area, please consider joining us at the Platte River Prairies on Saturday July 21 for a special event. We’re combining our bi-weekly volunteer work day with our annual Field Day, during which participants can join a number of hikes and educational sessions. You can help us harvest seed for our prairie restoration work or just enjoy the various session topics during the day – or both! If you’d like to help harvest seed, it would be helpful to bring work gloves and heavy scissors/garden shears, but we will have supplies as well.
This event is free of charge and open to the public. Please bring your own lunch, and RSVP by July 19th so that we have enough supplies. RSVP and get directions from Mardell at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (402) 694-4191.
Here is a schedule for the day (subject to change):
Seed Harvest – Help us with our prairie restoration efforts by hand-picking seeds. These seeds will be used to enhance the plant diversity of prairies that have been degraded by a history of overgrazing and/or broadcast herbicide use.
Bird walk/dickcissel research talk – Join Chelsea Forehead, a UNO graduate student, on a walk through the prairies. Learn about grassland bird ecology and identification, including Chelsea’s current research project on the interaction between brown-headed cowbirds, dickcissels, and perch site availability.
Prairie ecology tour – Chris Helzer will lead a hike through the prairie, discussing ecology, fire/grazing management, prairie restoration, and whatever the group stumbles upon during the walk. The morning and afternoon hikes will pass through different habitats, so feel free to join both!
Insect sweep netting – Sweep netting in prairies is a lot like snorkeling in the ocean. From the surface, you’d never know how much life is actually there. Grab a net and discover (and learn about) the incredible diversity of invertebrates found in prairies.
Plant identification hike – Join Olivia Schouten (Hubbard Fellow) on a walk and learn how to identify common prairie plants.
Botanical/Landscape Sketching – Alex Brechbill (Hubbard Fellow) will lead a session in which participants will sketch, paint, or otherwise depict the landscape or portions of it. Bring your own art supplies if you like, or we will provide some basic sketching supplies.