Harmony Arboretum prairie walk Wednesday

Marinette, Wis. — The Harmony Arboretum will host a prairie walk from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday.

The walk will cover prairie ecosystems, their importance to both wildlife and people, and how people restore prairies and why. Typical prairie plants to be featured include coneflower, compass plant, big and little bluestem, bee-balm and butterfly weed.

Prairies once covered 2 million acres in Wisconsin, but as Europeans settled here, they converted the treeless prairies into croplands and learned to control wildfires — but without fire, invading trees and shrubs gradually turn grasslands into woodlands.

Today, less than 12,000 scattered acres of prairie remain in Wisconsin. As grasslands are lost, so are the animals that live there. In order to protect and maintain the biodiversity of prairie ecosystems, restoration projects and demonstration plantings like the one at Harmony Arboretum give grasslands a second chance.

Harmony Arboretum is 7 miles west of Marinette on Highway 64, a half-mile south on County Road E. This is a free program; please meet at the pavilion next to the parking area.

The event will be cancelled if inclement weather develops. For more information, contact Land and Water Conservation at 715-732-7780 or the UW-Extension at 715-732-7510.