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Re-claiming tall grass prairie so that we can experience how prairie looked on the Northern Plains 150 years ago is not an easy task. Mark Hammer, PhD at Wayne State College in Wayne, Nebraska, wants his students to experience this and leads the work himself.
In late September, eight feet tall Maximillian sunflowers are prominent in this seven acre-Wayne State College Tallgrass Prairie Restoration Area headed by Dr. Mark Hammer. Students may experience a prairie as they study ecology on campus.
At this moment in the tallgrass prairie season, plumes of native Indian grass are taller than sunflowers. Wayne, Nebraska, like Vermillion, South Dakota to the north, is near the western edge of the native tallgrass prairie. Earlier many other kinds wildflowers were in bloom.
Compass plants with deeply indented leaves contrast to slender blades of Big bluestem in this part of the tallgrass prairie. Rosin from the plant was chewed as gum by Native American children in historic plains culture, according to Mark Hammer.
The article about Dr. Hammer and this re-claimed tall grass prairie was published by Yankton Press & Dakotan newspaper and can be found at:
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