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Rediscovering a Lost Landscape: The Construction of a Piedmont Prairie

The vanishing landscape of the southeastern piedmont prairie is largely unknown to those living amongst the scattered remnants of this diverse but imperiled habitat. In 2014, staff at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens set out to design and construct a one-acre rendition of a piedmont prairie, an ecosystem dominated by grasses and herbaceous wildflowers. Learn about the design and construction process and as well as resulting plant and wildlife conservation and biodiversity. Presenters will discuss producing more than 16,000 plants representing almost one hundred prairie species from seed acquired from local plant ecotypes. Finally, presenters will provide a look at how natural changes are being monitored in collaboration with Duke University as well as the educational outreach opportunities that exist with visitors, such as Duke Garden’s ‘prairie classroom.’

Presenters: S. Bloodworth, Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Durham, North Carolina

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