Written by Joe Meyer, Executive Director of Laudato Si’ Project
This weekend was packed with fun, getting the most out of the beautiful Fall season in WI. On Saturday, students were led on a hike through a beautiful section of the Holy Hill Ice Age Trail. This several mile stretch winds through glacial kettles, kames, and eskers while sugar maples tower overhead. This is one of the most scenic stretches of the WI Ice Age Trail.
On Sunday, Boy Scouts and members of the Heiliger Huegel Ski Club came to learn about prairie ecology and help with an 8 acre prairie planting that is on the ski club grounds.
After learning about prairie ecology and the 5 month old prairie planting at the ski club, these fearless volunteers hiked over to the neighboring Meyer prairie to collect native seed to be scattered at the HH ski club site. Armed with buckets, volunteers young and old gathered ripe seed heads across a 6 acre site planted with over 50 different species of prairie grasses, wildflowers, and sedges.
After all the prairie seed was collected, it was put into a large collective tub where it was mixed with vermiculite. Vermiculite is a filler used for prairie seeding to prevent too much seed getting scattered in one spot and also helps carry some of the finer seed, sawdust can also be used. Prairie seeds differ dramatically in size ranging from 750 seeds per ounce in some species to 2,500,000 seeds per ounce in others. All the mixed seed was divided up into buckets and volunteers brought them back to the HH ski club prairie to over-seed areas with less germination and to increase overall diversity of the planting.
“As stewards of God’s creation, we are called to make the earth a beautiful garden for the human family. When we destroy our forests, ravage our soil and pollute our seas, we betray that noble calling.” —Pope Francis, Manila Philippines, January 18, 2015
Learn more about this prairie project from our June Post “Prairie Planting”