I am excited to share with you news about our new partnership. A local gentleman will be leasing about five acres on our property in order to plant heirloom grains using his horses. Not only does having sustainable agriculture on site meld with our mission (to equip people and communities to live sustainably and care for Creation), it will also benefit our prairie restoration efforts. This is how: Out of the 100 acres that we plan to eventually restore to prairie, the majority of it is still abandoned agriculture land. This means that it was once worked for agricultural purposes and what remains are non-native and invasive plants that have taken over.
When a farmer starts working a piece of land, they have to get rid of these invasive species in order to protect their plots. Since we do not plan to start planting native prairie in some of these spots for many years (restoration is a long process that takes lots of time and money), the big benefit of having a sustainable farmer on the land is that when he leaves, the land will already be void of all the invasives, thus cutting out a step for us that can take anywhere from 2-5 years.
We continue to seek our partnerships that embody our mission and values and further our work in a sustainable way. Thank you for all your financial support, it has allowed us to make these powerful partnership and continue the critical work of saving one of the endangered ecosystems of the Northwest.
If you find yourself near Whidbey Island over the next two months, please come and visit us! The prairie flowers are beginning to bloom.
Our 5th Annual Prairie Open House will be held from May 8-10, 2014. There will be daily FREE naturalist tours at 10am, 4pm and 7pm. On Friday (May 9th) we will have native storytelling with Lou Labombard at 8:00pm. On Saturday (which is also the day of Coupeville's Penn Cove Water Festival with Native American Canoe Races), we will have a special tour at 2:15p with guests from the Sammish nation who will share why the prairie was so critical to the Native Americans for thousands of years.
Any other time that you come, you can walk the trails or request a tour for your group. We now have tours of the prairie with our CEO on the first and third Thursdays of each month at 5:30pm.
If you live closer to the Olympia area, there is another opportunity to see prairie work with several of our South Sound partners. Their Prairie Days celebration is also on May 10th and you can find more information here http://prairieappreciationday.org/
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