Volunteers helped preserve the Loess Hills Prairie Wednesday

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MONONA COUNTY, Iowa – Volunteers came together to help preserve the prairie of the Loess Hill, hosting a native prairie seed harvest in Monona County on Wednesday.

Organizers say this harvest is essential for the reconstruction and restoration of prairies around the region.

“I thought picking seeds sounded better than sitting alone. We are hand-harvesting prairie seed off of remnant prairie hillsides,” Melanie Schmidt of the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation said.

“The seed that we’re collecting today will be used to help diversify and help with more prairie reconstruction in the Loess Hills area. And we saw a bunch of different species out that are unique to Loess Hills. We found about 15 different species that we’ll be collecting tonight. It’s really important that we collect local seed, especially prairie remnant species from these areas because they’re not from anywhere else. It’s great, a lot of people come and have never harvested prairie seeds before, so it’s a great opportunity for them to learn about native prairie and what makes up Iowa’s unique landscape,” Schmidt said.

There were about nine volunteers that helped out Wednesday, collecting five-gallon buckets full of seeds that will be used to help restore some of the 800 acres of Natural Loess Hills Prairie along the Little Sioux River.

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