The South Puget Sound Prairies

Prairie Appreciation Day

The protectors and fans of the South Sound prairie celebrate together each year with Prairie Appreciation Day, an all-day, outdoor party at the peak of the Camas bloom.

“Prairie Appreciation Day is a really special event for me,” says Eric Delvin, the Conservancy’s Thurston County Project Manager. “It’s a touchstone activity of outreach and community appreciation in the region. It’s an event started by volunteers and sustained by volunteers for more than ten years. Last year we had 750 people come out and enjoy the day and get a sense of what prairies are and why they are worth preserving.”

Children, especially, love Prairie Day. Volunteers and staff members from all the South Sound conservation partners set up tents all over the Glacial Heritage Preserve, inviting children and their parents to take part in a day of learning and prairie fun. It’s something like a cross between a big outdoor classroom and a big birthday party, with children laughing and waving wind wands one minute and focusing seriously on digging up a camas bulb the next.

At the 2008 Prairie Appreciation Day, people of all stripes planted wildflowers, learned a little botany, pulled invasive species, held beetles, netted and released butterflies, walked in the woods, and teased a giant blue gopher that wandered the prairie all day. At a time when children don’t always have a sustained connection to nature, Prairie Day offers a chance to jump-start a child’s dormant enthusiasm for exploring the outdoors.

Private Connections, Public Benefits

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