Tags Posts tagged with "Katy Prairie Conservancy"

Katy Prairie Conservancy

0 81
  • katyprairiecons2Saturday, June 4, 2016 from 8:30 am – 11:00 am
    Prairie Work at M.D. Anderson Prairie – 
    We need a group (4-6) of volunteers to help Jaime González cut and transplant grass plugs at the M.D. Anderson Prairie located in the heart of the Texas Medical Center. If you are interested in leading this tour please contact Jaime Gonzalez and he will send you detailed parking and other information.
  • Saturday, June 11, 2016 from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
    Unplugged Adventure: Nightlife Guides

    KPC needs two volunteer guides to help lead small groups of visitors on an evening hike on the Indiangrass Preserve. Activities will include listening for native amphibians, visiting moth-friendly “sugar stations”, and seeking out signs of nocturnal wildlife. If you are interested in leading this tour please contact Jaime Gonzalez and he’ll be happy to send you more information.

Adults and Children Alike Will Find Entertaining Nature Activities

IKPC Boy Summer Science Nights_Courtesy Katy Prairie Conservancyn June, the Katy Prairie Conservancy (KPC) presents three different Summer Science Nights geared toward students and the Unplugged Adventure Nightlife for all ages. All will take place at the Indiangrass Preserve on the Katy Prairie.

Summer Science Nights are a great way to enrich your child’s understanding of science in the best laboratory of all — the great outdoors. Each session includes hands-on, minds-on activities and a hike on one of KPC’s wildlife-rich preserves.

Sign up for one, two or all three June classes. The series repeats in July. Each class runs from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.

Details include:

Summer Science Night: Pioneering: June 8. Do you have what it takes to survive as a prairie pioneer? The people who first settled this area were tough, well prepared, and inventive. Come learn how they survived, and try your hand at a few pioneer survival skills. Audience: Children ages 5 – 8. Cost: $7 per child.

Summer Science Night: Frog Hunters: June 15. Summer nights are filled with honks, squeaks, trills, and bellowing calls – all from local frogs. Come learn how to identify frog calls, learn how frogs find and catch prey, and visit a frog-filled wetland on this Summer Science Night adventure. Audience: Children ages 5 – 8. Cost: $7 per child.

Summer Science Night: Buzz on Bees: June 29. Bees are one of nature’s most industrious and fascinating animals. Learn about all the different native bees in our area, how they communicate, and how you can help support them in your own yard. Audience: Children ages 5 – 8. Cost: $7 per child.

Guests might see a beautiful sunset and birds at night during Unplugged Adventure: Nightlife on the Katy Prairie. Photo courtesy Katy Prairie Conservancy.
Guests might see a beautiful sunset and birds at night during Unplugged Adventure: Nightlife on the Katy Prairie. Photo courtesy Katy Prairie Conservancy.

Unplugged Adventure: Nightlife: June 11 from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. on the Indiangrass Preserve. Nighttime on the prairie is full of clicks, chirps, buzzes, and croaks. It’s a virtual symphony of sounds, alive with beautiful moths, fireflies, and night hunting birds. Join us for an adventurous expedition into the night prairie and learn what goes bump in the night. Audience: All Ages. Cost: $5 per person.

“We hope parents will take advantage of the marvelous Summer Science Nights for younger children,” says Mary Anne Piacentini, KPC’s executive director. “This is one of our most popular programs, so we encourage folks to register early.”

“Continue the learning experience into the summer out on the Katy Prairie, where surprises and adventures await,” adds Piacentini. “Our Unplugged Adventure: Nightlife on June 11 is also open to children and adults of all ages.”

All events require advance registration on katyprairie.org. Click the “Visit” tab to find “Events.” Participants are encouraged to bring water, cameras, binoculars, and snacks, if desired. For information go to our website or call 713-523-6135. Directions to Indiangrass Preserve are also available.

The Katy Prairie Conservancy is a nonprofit land trust dedicated to preserving an ecologically vital tallgrass prairie and associated wetlands area on Houston’s far west side for the enjoyment and benefit of all. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @katyprairie.

 

0 206

Adults and Children Alike Will Find Entertaining Nature Activities

Frogs are one of the many types of wildlife found on the Katy Prairie. Check out Katy Prairie Conservancy’s April events – Ranger Trek and two Wildlife Workshops, where you should see lots of flora and fauna. Photo by Mac Womack.
Frogs are one of the many types of wildlife found on the Katy Prairie. Check out Katy Prairie Conservancy’s April events – Ranger Trek and two Wildlife Workshops, where you should see lots of flora and fauna. Photo by Mac Womack.

HOUSTON (March 30, 2016) – The Katy Prairie Conservancy (KPC) presents April nature activities Ranger Trek: It’s A Spring Thing and Unplugged Adventure: Wildlife Workshop, which offers both day and night time classes. Adults only are invited to attend the Ranger Trek on April 9, while the two Unplugged Adventure events on April 30 are for all ages. Details include:

Ranger Trek: It’s A Spring Thing: Saturday, April 9 from 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. at Indiangrass Preserve. Join KPC Rangers on a hike of discovery as we explore the vibrant life of the spring prairie, including colorful migratory birds and Texas wildflowers. Audience: Adult Learners. Cost: Free.

Unplugged Adventure: Wildlife Workshop: Saturday, April 30 from 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. at Indiangrass Preserve. This first-of-a-kind workshop designed for novice to intermediate naturalists will provide identification tips for a variety of prairie wildlife and will also give keen insight into wildlife behavior, migration, and more.

Day Session Workshop Instructors: Bob Honig (birds) with Wally Ward and Michael Eckenfels (pollinators). Night Session Workshop Instructors: Dr. Cassidy Johnson (amphibians) and Dr. Amy Bickham Bird (mammals). Audience: All Ages. Cost: $35 per person, which includes lunch (day session) or dinner (night session), plus a T-shirt.

“We hope adults and children alike will check out our brand new Wildlife Workshop on April 30,” says Christine Mansfield, KPC’s community outreach manager. “You get your pick of a day or night time event with outstanding instructors who will make it fun and educational at the same time. Spring is one of the best times of the year to visit the prairie, so we encourage folks to check out either It’s a Spring Thing or one of the Wildlife Workshops, or both.”

The events require advance registration on katyprairie.org. Click the “Visit” tab to find “Events.” Walking shoes, clothing layers, gloves and a hat are recommended, since the prairie tends to be chillier and windier than an urban setting. Participants are also encouraged to bring water, cameras, binoculars and snacks, if desired. For information go to our website or call 713-523-6135. Directions to Indiangrass Preserve are also available.

The Katy Prairie Conservancy is a nonprofit land trust dedicated to preserving an ecologically vital tallgrass prairie and associated wetlands area on Houston’s far west side for the enjoyment and benefit of all. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @katyprairie.

0 316

Rice, University of Houston and University of St. Thomas to Raise Funds for Pocket Prairies

Monarch Butterfly _Christine Mansfield Photo
The pocket prairies being constructed at Rice University, the University of Houston and the University of St. Thomas will provide habitat for monarch butterflies and other wildlife. Photo by Christine Mansfield.

HOUSTON (February 17, 2016) – The Katy Prairie Conservancy (KPC) has joined with Rice University, the University of Houston (UH) and the University of St. Thomas (UST) through the Grassroots for Change Challenge to build pocket prairies for monarch butterfly habitat on each campus. This is an extension of KPC’s highly successful Prairie Builder Schools & Parks initiative.

The Grassroots for Change Challenge is a friendly competition to raise funds to transform parts of each of these local university campuses into vibrant pocket prairies which will provide excellent habitat for pollinators (such as critical monarch butterflies and native bees), serve as a living laboratory for student research, and give campus visitors, students, and faculty a better sense of Houston and its rich history. Specifically, the focus is on the restoration of the Rice Gully Natural Area at Rice University, construction of the new Shasta Prairie at UH on April 23 to culminate Earth Week 2016, and the transformation of an empty lot at UST into a living, breathing laboratory for undergraduates.

“The Katy Prairie Conservancy brings prairies to urban settings with our Prairie Builders Schools & Parks program,” says Jaime González, KPC’s Conservation Education Director. “This multi-year effort to establish pocket prairies on school grounds and in public parks for the benefit of visitors, students, and wildlife has been transformational for all involved.”

González noted that the Challenge is also about engaging, inspiring, and connecting students at Rice, UH and UST to assist one another in the mission of creating more sustainable and beautiful landscapes on their campuses. Each school’s alumni, students, professors, and supporters are being challenged to help raise the funds needed to create these new pocket prairies for monarch butterflies and other native wildlife.

As part of the friendly competition, KPC will track how much each school’s community has raised for the challenge and will be posting the results online at www.crowdrise.com/grassrootsforchange. Funds raised by each school will be directed toward the pocket prairie on their campus. Yet, in the true spirit of collegiality, KPC encourages cooperation among students from each university to assist one another in the establishment of each pocket prairie.

As a nonprofit land trust, the Katy Prairie Conservancy works to protect greenspace for its conservation and recreational benefits, enhance wildlife habitat, restore tallgrass prairie and wetlands, sponsor scientific research, and offer public programming and activities to introduce the general and school-aged public to the sights and sounds of the prairie. The Katy Prairie is a part of the highly imperiled coastal prairie ecosystem of Texas and Louisiana. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @katyprairie.

 

HOUSTON (February 4, 2016) –The Katy Prairie Conservancy (KPC) presents three birding events in February, including Coming Home to Roost on February 17 and February 24 and Wild West Tour: Photographing Waterfowl of the Prairie, led by Master Naturalist Glenn Olsen, on February 27. Both are for adult learners.

Guests at Coming Home to Roost should see these sandhill cranes come to roost during the evening on the Katy Prairie. Photo by Mac Womack.
Guests at Coming Home to Roost should see these sandhill cranes come to roost during the evening on the Katy Prairie. Photo by Mac Womack.

Coming Home to Roost: Wednesday, February 17 and Wednesday, February 24, 5:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. at Mary Manor Preserve. Each winter the Katy Prairie becomes home to flocks of birds fleeing cooler climates for the season. Join KPC board of directors’ member Steve Gast to see one of the most charismatic of these species, the sandhill crane, as it comes in to roost on the prairie for the evening. The cost is $5 per person, and spaces are limited. You must register for each class separately.

Northern shovelers, a type of duck, might be seen on the Katy Prairie during the Wild West Tour: Photographing Waterfowl of the Prairie. Photo by Mac Womack.
Northern shovelers, a type of duck, might be seen on the Katy Prairie during the Wild West Tour: Photographing Waterfowl of the Prairie. Photo by Mac Womack.

Wild West Tour: Photographing Waterfowl of the Prairie:  Saturday, February 27, 1 pm. – 5 p.m. beginning at Indiangrass Preserve. The Katy Prairie is one of the best places to photograph birds, especially waterfowl in the wintertime. Join bird expert and photographer Glenn Olsen as he visits some of KPC’s preserves to take photos of the prairie’s winter residents. Guests will bring their own cameras to this freehand photography class in which no blinds are used. The cost is $50 per person, and part of this fee goes toward supporting KPC’s educational programming.

“Birders of all levels and interests are invited to come out to the Katy Prairie for one of our bird-related events this month,” says Christine Mansfield, KPC’s Community Outreach Manager. “These are perfect for the amateur photographer who has a strong interest in nature photography. The Katy Prairie is home to more than 300 species of birds, and winter is an ideal time to see many of them.”

The events require advance registration on katyprairie.org by clicking the “Visit” tab to find “Events.” Walking shoes, clothing layers, gloves and a hat are recommended, since the prairie tends to be chillier and windier than an urban setting. Participants are also encouraged to bring water, cameras, binoculars, and snacks, if desired. For information go to our website or call 713-523-6135. Directions to Indiangrass Preserve are also available.

The Katy Prairie Conservancy is a nonprofit land trust dedicated to preserving an ecologically vital tallgrass prairie and associated wetlands area on Houston’s far west side for the enjoyment and benefit of all. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @katyprairie.

KPC Restoration in Progress Sign_Lajla White
The Indiangrass Preserve, under the leadership of the Katy Prairie Conservancy, is undergoing restoration to improve the quality of this important area of the Katy Prairie. Photo by Lajla White.

The Katy Prairie Conservancy (KPC) continues its winter programming, with an eye on spring, as it presents two nature events in February – Ranger Trek: Rebuilding Paradise and Unplugged Adventure: Promise of Spring. The two events will begin at KPC’s Indiangrass Preserve, 31950 Hebert Road in Waller. They include:
Ranger Trek: Rebuilding Paradise: Saturday, February 13, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. The Indiangrass Preserve restoration is a demonstration of KPC’s commitment to improving the quality of its preserves for wildlife and for humans too. Come out and learn how this ground-breaking work is being done, take a hike on the newly restored Indiangrass Preserve, and help pot up a few new plants for the restoration effort.
Cost: Free. Audience: Adult Learners.

2.These are seedlings from the Native Seed Nursery on Katy Prairie Conservancy’s Indiangrass Preserve.  Photo by Christine Mansfield.
These are seedlings from the Native Seed Nursery on Katy Prairie Conservancy’s Indiangrass Preserve. Photo by Christine Mansfield.

Unplugged Adventure: Promise of Spring: Saturday, February 27, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Spring is right around the corner, and now is the perfect time to learn how you can prepare your yard for a productive, green season. Participants will take a fun hike looking for signs of spring, do a take-home activity in our Native Seed Nursery, and talk about how you can prepare your yard for your wild neighbors.
Cost: $5. Audience: All Ages.

“We invite people all over the Houston area to check out the Katy Prairie with one or both of our February activities, where you can see first-hand how the Indiangrass Preserve is being restored and improved,” says Christine Mansfield, KPC’s Community Outreach Manager. “With Ranger Trek, you can do a good deed for nature and for our Unplugged Adventure, guests will learn how their yards can be transformed for wildlife.”

 

The events require advance registration on katyprairie.org by clicking the “Visit” tab to find “Events.” Walking shoes, clothing layers, gloves and a hat are recommended, since the prairie tends to be chillier and windier than an urban setting. Participants are also encouraged to bring water, cameras, binoculars, and snacks, if desired. For information go to our website or call 713-523-6135. Directions to Indiangrass Preserve are also available.

The Katy Prairie Conservancy is a nonprofit land trust dedicated to preserving an ecologically vital tallgrass prairie and associated wetlands area on Houston’s far west side for the enjoyment and benefit of all. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @katyprairie.

HOUSTON (January 27, 2016) –The Katy Prairie Conservancy (KPC) continues its winter programming, with an eye on spring, as it presents two nature events in February– Ranger Trek: Rebuilding Paradise and Unplugged Adventure: Promise of Spring. The two events will begin at KPC’s Indiangrass Preserve, 31950 Hebert Road in Waller. They include:

Ranger Trek: Rebuilding Paradise: Saturday, February 13, 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. The Indiangrass Preserve restoration is a demonstration of KPC’s commitment to improving the quality of its preserves for wildlife and for humans too. Come out and learn how this ground-breaking work is being done, take a hike on the newly restored Indiangrass Preserve, and help pot up a few new plants for the restoration effort. Cost: Free Audience: Adult Learners.

Unplugged Adventure: Promise of Spring:  Saturday, February 27, 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Spring is right around the corner, and now is the perfect time to learn how you can prepare your yard for a productive, green season. Participants will take a fun hike looking for signs of spring, do a take-home activity in our Native Seed Nursery, and talk about how you can prepare your yard for your wild neighbors. Cost: $5. Audience: All Ages.

“We invite people all over the Houston area to check out the Katy Prairie with one or both of our February activities, where you can see first-hand how the Indiangrass Preserve is being restored and improved,” says Christine Mansfield, KPC’s Community Outreach Manager. “With Ranger Trek, you can do a good deed for nature and for our Unplugged Adventure, guests will learn how their yards can be transformed for wildlife.”

The events require advance registration on katyprairie.org by clicking the “Visit” tab to find “Events.” Walking shoes, clothing layers, gloves and a hat are recommended, since the prairie tends to be chillier and windier than an urban setting. Participants are also encouraged to bring water, cameras, binoculars, and snacks, if desired. For information go to our website or call 713-523-6135. Directions to Indiangrass Preserve are also available.

The Katy Prairie Conservancy is a nonprofit land trust dedicated to preserving an ecologically vital tallgrass prairie and associated wetlands area on Houston’s far west side for the enjoyment and benefit of all. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @katyprairie.

KPC Seedlings in Nursery_Christine Mansfield Photo
These are seedlings from the Native Seed Nursery on Katy Prairie Conservancy’s Indiangrass Preserve. Photo by Christine Mansfield.
KPC Restoration in Progress Sign_Lajla White
The Indiangrass Preserve, under the leadership of the Katy Prairie Conservancy, is undergoing restoration to improve the quality of this important area of the Katy Prairie. Photo by Lajla White.

 

 

 

katyprairiecons2Adults and Children Alike Will Find Entertaining Nature Activities

HOUSTON (January 6, 2016) – This month the Katy Prairie Conservancy (KPC) presents Unplugged Adventure: Realm of the Eagle and Wild West Tour: Photographing Sparrows on the Prairie. Adults and children alike are invited to attend the Unplugged Adventure on Jan. 16, while the Wild West Tour photography event on Jan. 31 is for adult learners only. Details include:

Unplugged Adventure: Realm of the Eagle: Jan. 16 from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Each winter, mighty hunters with razor-sharp bills, keen vision, and a six-foot wingspan soar high above the Katy Prairie. Their chalky-white heads reveal their identity – Bald Eagles. The Katy Prairie’s wetlands, prairies, and creeks make it one of the premier bird watching spots in the United States. Join us for a Texas-sized adventure on the Indiangrass Preserve (31950 Hebert Road, Waller) as we go in search of rare, beautiful, and charismatic birds of the Katy Prairie and try to see the prairie through the eyes of an eagle. Cost: $5 per person. Audience: Adults and children.

GlennOlsen on Katy Prairie_Christine Mansfield Photo
Master Naturalist and photographer Glenn Olsen trains his camera on the Katy Prairie. Photo by Christine Mansfield.

Wild West Tour: Photographing Sparrows of the Prairie: Jan. 31, 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.  The Katy Prairie is one of the best places to photograph birds, especially in the wintertime. Join bird expert and photographer Glenn Olsen as he leads the group on some of KPC’s preserves to take photos of the prairie’s winter residents. The class will start from the Indiangrass Preserve also. Note: This is a freehand photography class, and no blinds will be used. Please bring your own camera. Cost: $50. Audience: Adult Learners.

ChippingSparrow_GregLavaty
The Chipping Sparrow could possibly by seen during the Wild West Tour: Photographing Sparrows on the Prairie. Photo by Greg Lavaty.

The events require advance registration on katyprairie.org. Click the “Visit” tab to find “Events.” Walking shoes, clothing layers, gloves and a hat are recommended, since the prairie tends to be chillier and windier than an urban setting. Participants are also encouraged to bring water, cameras, binoculars and snacks, if desired. For information go to our website or call 713-523-6135. Directions to Indiangrass Preserve are also available.

The Katy Prairie Conservancy is a nonprofit land trust dedicated to preserving an ecologically vital tallgrass prairie and associated wetlands area on Houston’s far west side for the enjoyment and benefit of all. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @katyprairie.

Sandhill Cranes_Mac Womack
These Sandhill Cranes can be found on Katy Prairie Conservancy’s preserves. Photo by Mac Womack.

Check out three different entertaining nature activities on the Katy Prairie Jan. 9 for adult learners only, as the Katy Prairie Conservancy (KPC) presents Ranger Trek and two Wild West Tours. Birders may find it difficult to choose just one event, since all relate to our fine-feathered friends.
“Winter is a wonderful time to explore the Katy Prairie,” says Christine Mansfield, KPC’s Community Outreach Manager. “We encourage folks to start off the New Year by appreciating what nature has to offer with one or more of our exciting events.”
The events require advance registration on katyprairie.org by clicking the “Visit” tab to find “Events.” Walking shoes, clothing layers, gloves and a hat are recommended, since the prairie tends to be chillier and windier than an urban setting. Participants are also encouraged to bring water, cameras, binoculars, and snacks, if desired. For information go to our website or call 713-523-6135. Directions to Indiangrass Preserve are also available.
The Katy Prairie Conservancy is a nonprofit land trust dedicated to preserving an ecologically vital tallgrass prairie and associated wetlands area on Houston’s far west side for the enjoyment and benefit of all. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @katyprairie.

The three events will begin at KPC’s Indiangrass Preserve, 31950 Hebert Road in Waller. They include:

Ranger Trek: For the Birds from 10 a.m. – 11 a.m. In 2013 the Katy Prairie was designated a Global Important Bird Area in recognition of the prairie’s bird diversity and the critical role that the prairie plays in bird migration. Learn how KPC is saving and improving bird habitat and take a hike in a newly restored prairie-wetland habitat searching for waterfowl and predatory birds. Cost: Free.

Wild West Tour: “Winter Birds” – 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. Sparrows, hawks, harriers, ducks, geese, and even Bald Eagles flock to the Katy Prairie during the winter months. For this exclusive tour, you’ll start at the Indiangrass Preserve and then join bird expert Glenn Olsen as he leads the group to several preserves usually closed to the general public. Space is limited, so reserve your spot today. Cost: $50.

Wild West Tour: Owl Prowl and Coyote Howl – 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Join Master Naturalist Glenn Olsen, for a brisk winter evening on the Katy Prairie. After a light dinner, you’ll be able to look and listen for elusive owls as they hunt on silent wings for their own dinner on some of KPC’s private preserves. You might also hear coyotes howling. Cost: $50.

Events require advance registration on katyprairie.org by clicking the “Visit” tab to find “Events.”

KPC_BaldEagle1_greglavaty
Bald Eagle. Photo by Greg Lavaty

HOUSTON, December 18, 2015 – If you’re looking for something new and different to kick off the New Year, consider volunteering with the Katy Prairie Conservancy (KPC) and other groups for the 40th annual Cypress Creek Christmas Bird Count (CBC) on the Katy Prairie on Jan. 1. Located in the Cypress Creek watershed, the Katy Prairie is one of several CBC locations in the Upper Gulf Coast region.

Volunteers will meet at Paul Rushing Park starting at 6 a.m., located at 9114 Katy-Hockley Rd. in Katy. Everyone who chooses to count on KPC property must sign a release form before participating in the Christmas Bird Count. The bird count lasts all day; however, participants can arrange to take part for only a portion of the day.

Nationally, it’s the 116th annual Christmas Bird Count sponsored by the National Audubon Society, occurring December 14 through January 5. The all-volunteer effort aims to take a snapshot of bird populations to monitor their status and distribution across the Western Hemisphere and thus gain important information, such as how birds are affected by climate change.

“Counts are open to birders of all skill levels,” says Jaime González, Conservation Education Director for the Katy Prairie Conservancy. “Novices are placed in groups with more experienced birders, allowing them to learn how to identify and count bird species. It’s a fun tradition for many folks. You’re contributing to providing important scientific data about birds that is shared with federal, state and private authorities.”

González noted it’s that possible participants will see bald eagles during the count, as a few have recently been sighted on KPC’s Indiangrass Preserve and Warren Lake on several occasions. “We have had huge interest in the eagles,” says González. “It’s always exciting to see these beautiful birds of prey on the prairie.”
There is no cost to participate in the Christmas Bird Count. Learn more about CBCs online by visiting the Houston Audubon and National Audubon websites. Contact compilers Fred Collins and Kendra Kocab at KlebWoods@Pct3.com for more information on the Cypress Creek CBC. Dress warmly, and wear good walking shoes that can handle wet conditions. Consider bringing water, snacks and/or lunch.

The Katy Prairie Conservancy is a nonprofit land trust dedicated to preserving an ecologically vital tallgrass prairie and associated wetlands area on Houston’s far west side for the enjoyment and benefit of all. For more information about KPC, log onto katyprairie.org or contact 713-523-6135. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter @katyprairie and on Instagram @savekatyprairie.

Photo Caption:
The bald eagle is just one of the birds that could be spotted during the Christmas Bird Count on the Katy Prairie Jan. 1. Photo by Greg Lavaty.