Tucked away in northern Oklahoma, 2,500 bisons roam the last vestiges of the great Tall Grass Prairie. A stunning ecosystem that once extended from Texas to Canada. A couple of MSM students had the opportunity to spend the afternoon with the staff, learning about the history and direction of the preserve. While it might be tempting to only see Tall Grass Prairie as a just a way to relive the past, the preserve is relevant for Oklahoma’s future!
The Tall Grass Prairie Preserve was started in 1989 by The Nature Conservancy, with the help of the Oklahoma community. Since 1989, TNC has restored vast patches of the prairie that had been damaged by oil spills, overgrazing, and non-native species. Restoration processes include the TGP’s patch-burn technique, where approximately 1/3 of the prairie is burned every year in order to promote new growth. Today the preserve boast over 760 species of plants with robust populations of bison, prairie chickens, and moths.
The Tall Grass Prairie is looking ahead; planning for visitors from all over the world. Looking to the future requires understanding how the past has shaped our current culture. Native American tribes, oil, and bison reflect cultural values of Oklahoma. Tall Grass Prairie will be exploring how has the landscape of Oklahoma shaped its values and how can Tall Grass be a part of reflecting and transmitting these values back to the community?