Saturday, April 13, 2013

Big Day in the Park 2013 - Huge Success!!

The Big Day in Park 2013 was a big success on Sunday, April 7.  Over 200 people participated in the event and we raised over $7,500 for the ongoing prairie restoration efforts.  We had a total of 85 species which smashes the prior single day record for the park of 73 species.  For a complete list of species, click here.  If you click on the link, you will also discover some of the interesting hits and misses of the day.  As you can see from the attached photos (courtesy of Lee Wallace), everyone enjoyed the beautiful day in the park.  We give a huge thank you to all of our sponsors, our volunteers, our field trip leaders, our business and organization supporters, our vendors and booth operators and especially to our donors.  For a complete list of acknowledgements, please click here.  We hope that you will all continue to support the prairie! 

(Photographs by Lee Wallace, 2013)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Big Day in the Park 2013 - New Developments

We are pleased to announce a new walk "BIRD SOUNDS AND BIRD LORE WITH DR. BIRDIE" scheduled at 8:30 AM led by expert birder and sparrow specialist, Dr. Byron Stone.  As Byron describes it:  "We will do our best to appreciate the rich variety of bird sounds that are commonly encountered on the plateau in early April, and I will do a fair amount of pontificating about birds and about why prairie restoration is important at a place like Commons Ford Park.  And of course we will try and see some cool birds!"  If this walk fills, Byron has graciously agreed to schedule a second (and even a third if there is sufficient interest). 

Dr. Birdie served as the inspiration for the Commons Ford Prairie Restoration Project when he accompanied Ed Fair on a birding visit to the park in 2009.  He pointed out that, at the time, the field was full of non-native invasive grass species which were detrimental to upland prairie birds.  He offhandedly commented that if we had a prairie full of native grasses and wildflowers instead, we might see it full of Le Conte's Sparrows.  That started the ball rolling.  

The native seeds were planted on the Commons Ford Prairie last year by Native American Seed Company using a no-till drill planting process.  George Cates from NAS will be bringing a smaller no-till drill to The Big Day to explain how the process works and answer questions about the planting and seed mix.  If you are interested in attracting birds to your yard, NAS will also have available for purchase several seed packets and seed mixes which are proven to do the job.  Profits from the sales of these seeds will be donated by NAS to the restoration project.
Please come see us this Sunday, April 7.  Visit our Big Day 2013 page for more details and to register for walks here.