Thanks to a $550,000 grant from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, the first of a three-phase, three year project will soon be underway to restore 17 acres of native prairie habitat along the City of Morris bike path. The plan hopes to restore the area so beneficial pollinators can flourish. The first phase involves removing the non-native plants and trees along the path. A series of bur oak trees, which were native to this area 200 years ago, will also be planted.
Esther Jordan, communications specialist with the West Central Research and Outreach Center, described on the KMRS Community Connection program other plans for the project to engage the public.
The area will also be utilized as an outdoor classroom for local high school and college students, and Kristin Lamberty with the UMM’s Computer Science division, noted there will be a three-pronged approach to using technology for the project: getting general information out on posters with appropriate website links; creating simulations in classrooms or libraries so community members can Be the Bee; and using signage along the trail to draw attention to different features of the project.