© Photos and content by Meghann Jarchow and Alexa Kruse. 

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Monarch Meadows

 

Spirit Mound Historic Prairie is a 320 acre restored prairie approximately 5 miles north of Vermillion.  Beginning in 2015, Spirit Mound Trust began a restoration project, called Monarch Meadows, on 10 acres of the prairie that was almost entirely smooth brome, an undesirable non-native grass.  The area was seeded with a forb-rich seed mix in order to provide habitat for pollinators especially the monarch butterfly.

In addition to the prairie restoration, Monarch Meadows was an educational project.  The Sustainability Capstone (SUST 489) course in 2016 used Monarch Meadow as a case study through which to learn about prairie restoration and public education.  The sustainability students learned about prairie restoration, grew prairie plants, and had planned to aid in the seeding of Monarch Meadow.  The sustainability students also worked with the fourth grade classes at Jolley Elementary School.  The sustainability students taught the fourth grade students about prairie restoration and pollinators.  We had planned to have the sustainability students teach the fourth grade students through a field trip to Spirit Mound, but spring flooding at Spirit Mound made us move the field trip to Cotton Park in Vermillion.  

with Sustainability Capstone