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Prairie Ecosystems
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Changing Attitudes
Fire Importance
Plant Adaptations
Prairie Peninsula
Illinois Prairies
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Planting a Prairie Garden
Human Voices
Inspiration for Art
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"One night in the fall, I awoke to find Mother shaking me urgently. Get up, Elenore, now, and help me with the children. As we woke Marjorie and Billy and wrapped them in blankets, I saw that the room was lit by a red glare from outside the windows. Mother hustled us downstairs and out the door to the clear."
-from Brett Harvey's My Prairie Year: Based on the Diary of Elenore Plaisted

Although earlier settlers feared fire, we now know that it plays a crucial role in the persistence of grasslands. The tallgrasses of the Prairie Peninsula produce large amounts of organic material, known as biomass. Once this plant material dries out in the late summer and early fall, the conditions are right for fires to sweep across the landscape. 

We understand fire's role in prairie and we use what we know to help create healthy prairie ecosystems.

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