The tall-grass prairie is a complex ecosystem with an amazing variety of grasses, flowers and wildlife. Before settlers came it was the most productive type of prairie in North America. Grasses reached over two metres in height. Now the tall-grass prairie in Manitoba is only a fraction (less than 1%) of its former 6,000 square kilometres. Here the western prairie fringed-orchid, the Great Plains ladies’-tresses, and the small white lady’s-slipper are protected on what is left of this native prairie. Every year the local advisory committee puts on Prairie Day at the Tall-grass Prairie Preserve where the public is invited to enjoy the sunshine, learn about prairie plants and wildlife, and participate in children’s activities and guided tours of the Prairie Shore Trail. The Preserve is located in the southeast corner of the province near the communities of Tolstoi and Gardenton.
On August 13th Dave Toop, John Perry, John Dyck and Peggy Bainard Acheson attended on NOCI’s behalf. Peggy promoted our organization and Dave gave a presentation on the native orchids of the southeast area of the province. Prairie Day is always a pleasant and relaxing day and the highlight was seeing seeing the release of a couple of merlins by the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre and discovering a Tiger Salamander that someone found in the parking area.
For more information about the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve please click on this link: http://www.gov.mb.ca/sd/wildlife/habcons/cwhp/tgp.html.