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Sauk Prairie Students Collect Seeds for “Day of Service”

A group of over 30 Sauk Prairie High School students braved the cold and blustery winds for several hours on Wednesday October 16th to help collect native prairie seeds from the restored Kindschi Prairie along Highway 12 north of Sauk City.  The students and several faculty from the high school were participating in the school’s “Day of Service.”  Other student groups helped with prairie restoration (Moely Prairie), Hwy 12 roadside cleanup, cemetery clean-up (Merrimac) and other useful service projects throughout the area.

The students collected numerous grocery bags full of rare prairie seeds.  Their “treasure” included wildflower species like Stiff Goldenrod, Showy Goldenrod, Rattlesnake Master, New England Aster, Culver’s Root, Tall Sunflower and two native grasses (Big Bluestem and Indiangrass). The seeds will be shared with landowners at Badger, including Ho-Chunk Nation and Department of Natural Resources, to support their prairie restoration efforts on their respective properties.

Sources of seed of native prairie plants are very scarce.  Once found along roadsides and railroad tracks, the efficiency of highway and rail crews cleaning and clearing their right-of-ways over the decades has all-but-eliminated native plants.  More and more as time goes by, seed sources are reduced to the several tiny extant prairie remnants scattered throughout the county and restored prairies like this roadside planting at the historical marker along Highway 12.

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