Virginia students working to recreate a prairie
Before settlers spread across Illinois, the blue-stem grass of the Grand Prairie grew so tall that it could conceal a mounted horseman. It was home to an incredibly diverse collection of plants, insects, birds and mammals and it was where the Illinwek Confederation once thrived.
The Grand Prairie is gone, but Virginia High School agriculture teacher Jennie Dodds and her students have launched a project to provide a glimpse of that long lost prairie. Dodds secured a grant for a Schoolyard Habitat Program, which was established by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Wildlife Federation.