FAIRFIELD, Iowa — Landowners and other interested individuals learned Friday about prairies at Jefferson County Park in Fairfield. The event was open to anyone interested in learning more about Iowa’s ecosystem.
Attendees were taught about prairie restoration, maintenance and the history behind them by Kevin Andersen, a private land biologist with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.
Andersen spoke about what goes into restoring and maintaining a prairie.
“ I would talk to them first on getting a good diverse seed mix and following a plan with the Conservation Reserve Program," Andersen said. "Down the road, [they can use] fire and mowing as a maintenance tool. "
If prairies are not maintained, it will lead to them to turning into a weed-filled area. Maintaining this ecosystem is important because it provides the state with soil that allows farmers to grow crops.
“We need to maintain them to kind of know about our past," Andersen said. "We have beautiful soil because of the prairie, and that allows us to grow a lot of food, fiber and raise livestock."
Restoring and maintaining prairies is a community effort. Anyone can help by planting this ecosystem’s native plant life in their backyards.