CNLM celebrates 28th Annual Prairie Appreciation Day

  |   CNLM News

CNLM staff in Washington helped host Prairie Appreciation Day, held on the 2nd Saturday of May for the last 28 years, on May 13, 2023, at Glacial Heritage Preserve and Mima Mounds Natural Area. The event was an opportunity for members of the public and volunteers to come enjoy the flowers of native Washington prairies. Self-guided interpretive trails at Glacial Heritage Preserve provided information about the prairie ecosystem, why it’s important, and what’s being done to preserve it. Mima Mounds Natural Area features a ½ mile ADA accessible loop trail which was open during the event. CNLM and Friends of Puget Prairies (FOPP) organized the event, and CNLM staff provided outreach and education at many of the booths throughout.  Visitors were encouraged to join and participate in Prairie Appreciation Day’s iNaturalist Project – where the biodiversity and phenology of the South Sound prairies and oak woodlands are documented. Activity stations hosted by CNLM and partners such as JBLM Sentinel Landscapes, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Thurston County, Wolf Haven International, and Ecostudies Institute (just to name a few!) were bustling at Glacial Heritage Preserve. Activity booths featured bats, birds, native prairie seeds, prescribed fire, streams, native plant identification, geology, bees, butterflies, prairie restoration, and gardening with prairie plants. Over 50 volunteers made the event possible and over 950 visitors participated in the event this year.

CNLM manages Glacial Heritage Preserve and has conducted restoration of the site since 2011.  Glacial Heritage Preserve is owned by Thurston County and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve was established in 1976 by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. CNLM is highly engaged in the restoration of native prairies in the area and our native plant nursery provides much of the seed for restoration activities.

More information about the event, participating partners, and volunteers is available here.