Peace in the Prairie Sketchbook: “It felt like freedom out here.”

Screen Shot 2018-10-22 at 7.50.11 AM
She’Kinah photographs Prairie Star Restoration Farm. Photographs in this blog by She’Kinah Taylor and Susan Colangelo. Copyright 2018 Saint Louis Story Stitchers.

On October 20, 2018 Susan Colangelo, Cassandria White, She’Kinah Taylor drove to Bland, MO, to Prairie Star Restoration Farm, owned and cared for by Jan and Bruce Sassmann, for the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s Annual Meeting, Carol Davit Director.

Prairie Star Restoration Farm

She’Kinah Taylor, age 17, Stitchers Youth Council, documents her reflections in the car on the way back to St. Louis after her very first exploration of a Missouri prairie.

“Today we went to Prairie Star Restoration Farm in Bland, Missouri and it was beautiful. The plants were very healthy looking. It was memorable. It felt like freedom out here.

Photo Credit: She’Kinah Taylor. Copyright 2018 Saint Louis Story Stitchers.

There’s a lot that you could learn about. The people here are really resourceful and know a lot about prairies.

It was lovely.

It was windy.

Burnt prairie land. Photo Credit: She’Kinah Taylor. Copyright 2018 Saint Louis Story Stitchers.

What impressed me the most was learning about the different sections of how they grow each of the plants and how they would burn parts of it down just for the rest of it to be able to grow up so it can be new plants on top of the surface.

Screen Shot 2018-10-22 at 7.56.17 AM
Bruce Sassman explains how to read buck markings on the ground. Copyright 2018 Saint Louis Story Stitchers.

And then knowing about how the different animals such as a buck deer will mark their territory and leave a scent so you can trace back and see if they were here or not. I thought that was really cool.

She’Kinah with Carol Davit, Executive Director Missouri Prairie Foundation, in front of a banner illustrating the actual size of a prairie grass with deep root structure.

And then how the plants are really deep inside and the roots are really deep in the ground and that they die usually but people don’t know that even if they’re dead they are actually growing another new plant on top of it so it’s kind of like reproducing the same type of plant on top of the surface so that’s why they have to put a fire out on it so that the dead one can go away and the fresh one can come on top of it. So I thought that was actually real neat.

Yeah this trip was really cool. I learned a lot about nature and how we should not take it for granted because we really basically need this in our lives a lot. I’m happy that I did come.

Screen Shot 2018-10-22 at 7.54.21 AM
Photo Credit: She’Kinah Taylor. Copyright 2018 Saint Louis Story Stitchers.

I learned that nature is everywhere and we should take really good care of it. And there’s not a lot of prairies left in the world so we should be mindful about that.