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Letter to the Editor: "We have 'a whisper of opportunity' to make (the Decorah Prairie) our sixth museum and heritage site in Winneshiek County"

Posted: Thu, Apr 5, 2018 11:51 AM
Jeri Osenga ( file photo)

(The following Letter to the Editor has been submitted by Jerri Osenga of Decorah):

"Every once in a great while, a whisper of opportunity falls on our ears to transform a space into something for more amazing than its current state." These are wildlife biologist Terry Haindfield's sentiments in his official report on the 'Decorah Prairie Project' of 2002. Eroding corn fields were turned into reconstructed tall grass prairie (Prairie that in pre-settlement days covered most of Iowa). Mr. Haindfield continued to say that with the city leaders' passion for this project, they gathered whole-hearted support from the community to produce this "multi-functional habitat" of 'local ecotype prairie plants.'

Our Decorah community prairie offers an introduction to our natural heritage of pre-settlement days. We have 'a whisper of opportunity' to make of it our sixth museum and heritage site in Winneshiek County, along with Vesterheim, Porter House, Laura Ingalls Wilder Park, Bily Clocks and Seed Savers.

The butterfly garden as an entrance to the prairie offers opportunities to learn to identify the heritage plants found in our prairie. It can be considered an arboretum. It can be "more amazing than its current state". Those of us who volunteer as stewards of our prairie butterfly garden are more nearly beneficiaries of our reconstructed heritage of the Tall Grass Prairie Ecosystem.

This opportunity is open to all. Join us with your tools on Tuesdays beginning May 1st at 9 a.m. at the butterfly garden. We garden every Tuesday morning at 9:00 throughout the growing season.

To learn more, look for our 2018 brochure at the Chamber of Commerce office, across from Vesterheim Museum. For further information call Jerrie Osenga at 382-1453 or join us on Tuesday, April 17th, at 7:00 p.m in the Decorah Library meeting room.