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Wetland Management District's Prairie Seed Harvest yields results

MORRIS, Minn. The Morris Wetland Management District hosted its eighth annual prairie seed harvest on Saturday, Sept. 24. It was National Public Lands Day and the weather cooperated to make for an enjoyable time on the prairie.

Thirteen volunteers turned out to hand collect prairie wildflower and grass seed and in the process learned about district management and prairie ecology, while getting an "up close" experience with native prairie.

The harvest sites were tracts of remnant prairie on Glacial Lake Waterfowl Production Area (WPA), located eight miles south of Starbuck in Pope County, and Fitzgerald WPA located two miles west of Hancock.

Some of the species harvested included: white and purple prairie clovers, blazingstars, prairie dropseed, prairie onion, leadplant, maximilian sunflower, liatris , and narrow-leaved purple coneflower.

The seed harvest day had a smaller turnout than last year's event, but the amount of seed collected was still impressive. Nine bulk pounds of seed were collected, with an estimated retail value of $1,280. The seed will be used in native restorations on the district this fall and next year.

Paper bags were provided by Willie's SuperValu.