Fundraiser launched for University of Kansas prairie project

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — The Historic Mount Oread Friends has kicked off a crowdfunding effort for the University of Kansas' Prairie Acre restoration project with a $2,500 donation.

The Prairie Acre is a swath of grass that was designated in 1932 to remain undeveloped and protected by the university.

Officials say that over time, the area has dwindled and many native plant species have died out, while nonnative species have invaded. The say that encroaching trees and hesitation to burn the acre has caused it to become out of balance.

The Historic Mount Oread Friends is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving historic architecture and open spaces of the university's campus.

The Lawrence Journal-World ( ) reports that school hopes to raise a total of $10,000 by Jan. 13 to help start the first phase of the Prairie Acre project. Jeff Severin, director of the school's Center for Sustainability, says that the total cost for phase one is about $22,500.

The second phase of the restoration project is estimated to cost about $15,000. According to Severin, contributions will be used for supplies and additional plant materials, as well as overall project coordination and enhancements

Restoration plans include replanting native species, repairing the rock wall around the area and installing elements to make the acre educational and accessible for students and members of the public.

"The idea is to do more management of the property so that we'll actually be doing regular burning at the right time of year," Severin said.


Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World,

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