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Exciting News! A New Native Prairie is Coming To Riverside Park.

     Purdue Extension Rush County is very excited to announce that we are partnering with several other local organizations to provide a 3 acre native prairie in Rushville's Riverside Park.  Rush County resident and Master Naturalist Kathi Jackley, who is the founder of local educational non-profit Monarchs and More, has been the visionary and driving force behind this project, and we are grateful to be included and working with Monarchs and More, the Rushville Parks Department,Rushville disc golf group the Saucer Tossers, Rush County Soil and Water District, and the Indiana DNR to bring this prairie to Rush County. 
     The area of this native planting will serve to accentuate the already in place disc golf course and other features of the park, and will eventually include pathways and educational signage. But why a prairie? So many reasons. Pollinators from bees to butterflies are declining. This planting will have several native flowers that will be beneficial to those pollinators who are desperately in need of more quality habitat. A high quality native planting also benefits quail, rabbits and songbirds. As if that isn't a good enough reason, let's talk about water quality. Prairie plants set down deep root systems that serve as a great way to hold and then also filter water as it makes its way back into the ground or river.
     What should you expect to see happen? Very soon, you will notice signage indicating the areas where we have killed the existing grass. Turf grass competes with the wildflowers and sedges that we will be planting, so it is vital that we eradicate those grasses first. Next, we will be dormant seeding this area late this fall or early winter.
     What can you do to help? During the early stages, if you can stay off this area as much as possible it would be greatly appreciated. We want to try to not disturb the seeds and then the young plants as much as possible while they are getting established. In the spring, we will start to see new vegetation. During the first growing season the native plants will spend much of their energy establishing roots and may not bloom at all the first couple years. This is to be expected. It can take as much as 3 years to really get a prairie to show the full potential.
     As we continue to work on this project, updates and special event information can be found here.
If you would like to be part of this or future projects, please contact us at 765-932-5974 or 
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