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Women’s Field Day Picnic on the Prairie

                                                                         News Feature                                                           7/15/2011

Women’s Field Day: Picnic on the Prairie

This year’s Women’s Field Day was held on June 23, 2011, at the Chippewa County Courthouse in Montevideo. There were many activities included in the Women’s Field Day which started at the courthouse and ended with a field trip to the Chippewa Prairie near Milan.

The night’s activities started with a game of conservation jeopardy followed by door prize drawings. After that guests went to the DNR Headquarters in the Lac qui Parle Refuge where Dave Trauba, Wildlife Manager for the MN DNR, gave a talk about the history of the area, prairie plants, wildlife and management while guests ate dinner. After that it was time for a walk through the prairie, where Dave Trauba continued his talk and plant identification at the Chippewa Prairie. The Chippewa Prairie is a 1,143 acre example of the original northern tallgrass prairie ecosystem located next to the Lac qui Parle Lake. It is owned by the Nature Conservancy but is managed by the MN DNR’s Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management office. The management includes frequent prescribed burning to maintain the early successional vegetation and wildlife.

This outreach program was possible with the collaboration of many different agencies and organizations including Chippewa Soil and Water Conservation District, Chippewa County Land Resources, University of MN Extension, USDA-FSA and NRCS and the Chippewa River Watershed Project. Watch for information on the 2012 Women’s Field Day in local papers sometime next Spring.

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