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Plant Natives and Promote Pollinators

My name is Heide See and I have worked at Prairie Restorations for three years now. This is a great company and I have really found a passion for native plants. Most jobs you won’t find this kind of family and these kinds of people. I love how friendly everyone is and it has made me want to be just like all of them. Every day I learn something new and it’s just as exciting as the next. I consider...

I work in the retail store at PRI’s main headquarters location in Princeton, MN. I think the most rewarding part of my job is seeing and hearing the excitement and enthusiasm in the customers’ eyes and voices as they talk about their existing native landscapes. They rave about how interesting and beautiful they are and how glad they are that they decided to “go native.” Then there are the new customers who are very stoked about beginning their new project and what a difference they are going to be...

Spring Is A Busy Time At PRI

My name is Aaron Soltau and I am a project manager with Prairie Restorations Inc. What can I say, spring is finally here! Now that the weather has turned, PRI crews are out in full force working on projects across the region. This includes the installation of new projects and taking care of (managing) existing ones. Personally, I have been very busy with mowings, prescribed burning and seeding CRP projects. Throughout the upcoming season I will have the opportunity to work with many wonderful people on dozens of...

Spring Ephemerals From North Carolina to Minnesota

I recently returned from a trip to Great Smoky Mountain National Park. While my sister was busy looking for old cemeteries, I was excited about seeing the spring flowers in bloom. They did not disappoint. We found many species that are the same, or similar, to those we have here, including geranium, spring beauty, four species of trillium, bloodroot, bishop’s cap, phlox, and wild ginger. Showy orchids (Galearis spectabilis) were abundant, and we happened upon a colony of pink ladyslipper (Cypripedium acaule). On our last walk of the trip, my sister found a lone fire...

Pasque Flower Means Spring to Us

I will know that Old Man Winter is gone when I see this early bloomer right outside our main office door at Prairie Restorations, Inc. The Pasque flower (Anemone patens) is one of my favorites. Perhaps because I know that warmer temperatures and an abundance of blooms are right around the corner. Let’s all hope that this weekend’s storm will truly be winter’s last hurrah and soon we will all be enjoying our overdue spring! Cathy Wiitala Administrative Assistant Princeton ...

Timber Stand Improvement (TSI)

Timber stand improvement is a forest management practice designed to improve the quality of a woodland. One aspect of TSI is an approach called release cutting. Release cutting involves thinning or “culling” less desirable trees to release “reserve” trees. Release cutting is typically a very cost effective method, in that the culled trees can be cut and then left on site to naturally decompose. One project we’re working on, the reserve trees include spruce, white pine, bur oak and red pine. ...

Native Grasses & Pollinators

When you think of the relationship between pollinators and native plants you usually think about wildflowers. First, you probably picture a tall, fragrant, flowering common milkweed with monarch caterpillars munching away at the foliage. Maybe you think of a busy bee buzzing back and forth between a stand of fragrant giant hyssop? Do you ever picture native grasses? If not, it might interest you to know that native grasses are just as important to pollinators as wildflowers are! Native grasses provide benefits like food and shelter to a multitude of butterfly and...

Not As Famous, But Still Problematic

While the calendar may say it’s April, Mother Nature decided that in Minnesota, it still feels like January! What better time to discuss a lesser known but still problematic issue of our beautiful woods, non-native honeysuckles. While there are many common names for Eurasian species of honeysuckles, Bell’s, Morrow’s, Tartarian, and Amur honeysuckles are MDA restricted noxious weeds here in Minnesota. They differ from our native bush honeysuckle, Diervilla lonicera, by having an egg shaped leaf that comes to a point,...

New Location, New To Me

Before starting at the Prairie Restoration’s Lewiston office, I had never spent much time in Southeastern Minnesota. In my short time here I have found there is so much to explore in what is called the Coulee region. The views from Great River Bluffs State Park give a panoramic view of the Mississippi and Black River valleys. The region is crisscrossed by rivers and creeks that, over the ages, have carved lazy paths into the landscape. As the Mississippi...

Paradigm Shift, Compliments of the Monarch

Growing up on a small farm in west central Minnesota, summer meant a couple of different things. There was probably hay to put up and Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) to pull. Back then, milkweed was a weed if you didn’t control it. This plant spread by rhizomes and that white floss that helps transport the seed would plug up tractor radiators and tickle the operator’s nose. The expansion of modern monoculture agriculture and chemicals have decimated the milkweed population. Milkweed attracts all kinds of insect pollinators including various...