Piecing Together the Prairie
An extensive area of flat or rolling, predominantly treeless grassland, especially the large tract or plain of central North America. The word ‘prairie’ is a French word for meadow or lawn.
A small part or portion that remains after the main part no longer exists.
The prairie is one of North America's great ecosystems and a vital habitat for many plants and animals. Over 98% of the prairie has been lost in the past 150 years—but some people are trying to bring it back, hectare by hectare. Restoring a prairie is a great challenge, requiring knowledge of biology, ecology, climatology, and even economics." (Bell Museum)
In the past before European settlers, prairies covered 40 percent of the United States. The southwestern area of Wisconsin was a tall grass prairie. In time these oak savannas were replaced with farms and cities. Remnants of prairies have survived throughout the years, but now there is a movement to preserve and restore the prairies and all the life –plants, insects, birds and mammals-- they hold.
"Piecing Together the Prairie"
The goal of Prairie Remnants is to restore our vision of nature around us. Today nature seems to refer to something that is separate from humans. It isn’t. Finding nature is the first step to finding ourselves.
Prairie Remnants represents a fractal: a small remnant of a once large prairie. Our small prairie will grow to be part of a future prairie linked together with other remnants, making it whole once again.
Through this web site, we hope to share with you a spiritual journey of life or nature on “The Land”.
About Us and Our Home
Mark and I are caretakers of 23 acres which we collectively refer to as “The Land”.
It consists of three acres of prairie and twenty acres of woodlands – atop a hill overlooking the Wisconsin River. It includes an old limestone quarry from which stone was taken to build Highway 60 below. We are seven miles east of Spring Green, Wisconsin. Since moving here, we have discovered the land was not an overgrown tangle of weeds and trees, but a remnant of what once was.
Mark was looking for peace when he found this land. He wanted to live in the country. Mark was raised in the city and played in the parks and woods growing up. He did a tour in Vietnam and Korea during 1967-69. Armed with a land catalog, he and a friend would drive up to Wisconsin from the Chicago area to look for land to buy in the early 1970’s. One day they spotted a small handwritten sign tacked to a tree along the highway. It said “Top 20 – For Sale.” It would take Mark almost 30 years before he could move back permanently to the land he had purchased.
Linda was a farm girl raised on the Colorado plains who wanted to live in the city. She got her chance to live in cities – Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco – but was always restless. What is that saying?? "You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl."
Bonding with this prairie (and woodlands) has helped her find her roots. Since she has always had a camera in her hand, she can easily spend many hours happily photographing “The Land”.