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Nurturing natives: Rotary Park project to restore prairie

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Reece Boucher, intern with Crow Wing County Soil and Water Conservation District (left), along with Minnesota Conservation Corps crew members Walter Biglow, Anna Rose Hansmeyer and Hunter P., roll plastic sheeting Tuesday, July 24 in Rotary Park in Brainerd. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch Video and Gallery2 / 2

Reece Boucher, intern with Crow Wing County Soil and Water Conservation District (left), along with Minnesota Conservation Corps crew members Walter Biglow, Anna Rose Hansmeyer and Hunter P., rolled plastic sheeting Tuesday, July 24 in Rotary Park in Brainerd.

The sheeting will be replaced to create a seedbed barrier for native plants in a field within the park. Plastic is used to create a weed-free soil bed. It will be removed before plants are installed in 2019.

The project, under the guidance of the Crow Wing SWCD along with Lake and Martin counties, will restore an 11-acre field that was a pasture and hay field into a 10-acre stand of native plants. The stand will surround the center 1-acre area, which will be used as a seed plot for native plants for replanting by the district as well as the public.

A walking trail is planned for the area so people can learn about the various native plants on the land near the Mississippi River. During the process of restoring the area to native prairie, weeds and invasive plants will be controlled.

Visit https://bit.ly/2LLmZeY for more photos.

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