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  People on the Prairie    
People on the Prairie
Temperature Extremes
Prairie to Farmland
Prairie Ecosystems
Prairie Restoration
Planting a Prairie Garden
Human Voices
Inspiration for Art
Restoration Game
Teacher Orientation
Sand Prairie Scrub Oak
Sand Prairie Scrub Oak Nature Preserve in February
"Our house on the prairie was like a little white ship at sea. Not a tree, not a bush to be seen; just an endless tall grass that billowed in the wind like the waves of an ocean."
-from Brett Harvey's My Prairie Year: Based on the Diary of Elenore Plaisted.

Native Americans were the first people to use the prairie's vast resources. The prairie provided them with plants that could be used as food and medicine. By burning the prairie, Native Americans could drive bison and elk during a hunt. The fires also kept the land an open grassland with few trees.

When European settlers first saw the land, they didn't know how to use it. Some of them felt lost in a sea of grass. 
The prairie was unlike any land they had ever seen. They had come from homelands that were wooded, hilly, and even mountainous, so some thought the flat open land of the prairie was a wasteland. What they didn't realize was that the deep roots of the prairie plants helped to build up rich organic soil over thousands of years. Sand Prairie Scrub Oak, Summer
Sand Prairie Scrub Oak Nature Preserve in Summer

They discovered that the prairie was some of the most fertile land on earth. It was dark, black, rich soil that would grow practically anything. So they turned the sea of grass into a sea of corn, wheat, and soybeans! 


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