Four events highlight fall for Missouri Prairie Foundation

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Prairie Day and MPF Annual Meeting & Evening on the Prairie

The Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Annual Meeting and Evening on the Prairie, preceded by Prairie Day activities organized by the Hi Lonesome Chapter of Missouri Master Naturalists will be Saturday, Oct. 10, at Cole Camp, Mo.

Kickapoo Edge Prairie is a recreation of the original prairie that grew on the site.

Kickapoo Edge Prairie is a recreation of the original prairie that grew on the site, and just one of the beneficiaries of the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s fund-raising efforts, which include installation of a paved path through the native grasses in the Springfield Botanical Gardens.

Prairie Day activities begin at 10 a.m. in downtown Cole Camp, on Missouri 52 east of U.S. 65 in Carter County, on prairie land owned by MPF Past President Dr. Wayne Morton just outside of town. Activities throughout the day will include guided prairie tours, hay rides, demonstrations of primitive and other skills, storytelling, face painting, bird banding, star gazing and much more.

The MPF Annual Meeting, where members will vote for incoming directors, will be at 4:30 p.m., followed by MPF annual awards, and MPF’s “Evening on the Prairie,” with complimentary wine and cheese. Free tent camping on the prairie is available. “Evening on the Prairie” is free, but donations will be accepted.

Guided Hike of Mule Hollow Natural Area
A week later, MPF members are invited to explore the grasslands found on the dolomite glades and woodlands at Peck Ranch Conservation Area in Carter County.
The hike of Mule Hollow Natural Area (within Peck Ranch), will be led by MPF member and MDC Natural History Biologist Susan Farrington, at the Peck Ranch Headquarters beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Early registration is required since the hike will be limited to 25 participants. To register and receive further details, email Susan Farrington at susan.farrington@mdc.mo.gov, or by cell phone at 314-402-3345. The free hike will be off-trail over rocky and rugged territory, so participants are reminded to wear appropriate ankle-supporting hiking boots and to bring a hiking stick if needed. Be prepared for tick prevention as well; the Peck Ranch is “affectionately” known as “Tick Ranch.”

Duct tape is recommended for the seed tick prevention. Participants should bring plenty of water, snacks, and a sack lunch to eat on the open this “glade with a view.” The group will return to headquarters by 3:30 p.m. or so. If you want to see elk in the area should plan to stay until evening as there is a good chance you’ll be able to see them along the driving trail at Peck.

Native Tree Walk at Forest Hills Cemetery

On Sunday, Oct. 15, From 1-3 p.m. Alan Branhagen, Director of Horticulture at Powell Gardens, will guide a Forest Hills Cemetery tree walk at 6901 Troost Avenue, Kansas City, Mo. The walking tour is sponsored by Powell Gardens and Grow Native!

Forest Hills dates back to 1888 and is known for its beautiful sugar maples, which should be approaching their peak fall colors by this event. At one time, Forest Hill Cemetery was renowned for its tree collection, including the area champion blackgum, a cucumber tree magnolia, along with white ash and chestnut oak and a venerable classic vase-shaped American elm that continues to defy Dutch elm disease . No facilities will be available, although Soil Service Garden Center and Nursery is nearby.

To RSVP for this tree walk, call 816-697-2600, Ext. 209. The tour is free to members of Powell Gardens, the Missouri Prairie Foundation, and Grow Native! The is a $5 fee to Powell Gardens for non-members.

MPF Annual Dinner & Grow Native! Celebration

MPFWebAddressLogo2009LargeCMYKThe Missouri Prairie Foundation’s annual dinner at Unity Village is its big event of the year and a chance to dine in style on brisket, salmon, or portobello mushroom entrée,  with fellow prairie and native plant enthusiasts. MPF will bestow 15 awards to native plant pioneers in honor of the 15th Anniversary of the Grow Native! program.

All net proceeds from the dinner support MPF’s prairie conservation work.

Bruce Schuette, Vice President of Science & Management of MPF will make a presentation on the Natural Assets: The Conservation Value of Prairie Remnants.

Cost of the dinner is $100 per person or $700 for a table of eight. New and existing MPF lifetime members may reserve a table for $500. Unity Village, 1901 NW Blue Parkway, Unity Village. MO 64065. Members and non-members alike are welcome to attend and may reserve on-line as well as responding to an upcoming mailed invitation.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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