Fifteen million acres of tallgrass prairie once blanketed Missouri, but much of this native grassland habitat has been lost to agriculture and other development, leaving fewer than 70,000 scattered original prairie acres left in the state. Native species have been dying for many years, primarily because we have replaced so much of their once diverse natural habitat with single crop monoculture stretching to the horizon. Most of these crops are poor sources of the pollen and nectar insects eat. Likewise endless tracks of flowerless grass lawns are monoculture on a similar scale; they, too, are wastelands for pollinators, offering no nourishment of any kind. Just because it is green doesn't mean it is good. Replacing a portion of your turf with native plants will help conserve local biodiversity.
CUrrent public project
Tilles Park Pollinator Research Garden
Can communities plant their way out of a pollinator health crisis? St Louis City is home to 1/3 of Missouri's bee population. Tilles Park is a South City gem located at Hampton and Fyler Avenues. A small portion of its 29 acres will be used to support an urban pollinator population study. This research is being conducted by Saint Louis University with the support of the Missouri Department of Conservation. Pop Up Prairie has been asked by the Tilles Park Neighborhood Association to partner with them and the Timothy Lutheran Church to design and install a 7,000 square foot native garden to support the research.
Completed Public Project
McDonald Park Native Garden
McDonald park is 3 acres of sun drenched space in Tower Grove South that dates back to 1928. Now, thanks to a grant from the Missouri Prairie Foundation, it includes 250 square feet of native micro prairie aimed at increasing the biodiversity of the surrounding area and overall health of the pollinators that visit or call St Louis home. The wildflowers and grasses have been selected to provide a wide range of bloom period so visitors to the park may enjoy its evolving beauty all season. Come take a look and see if you can find any insects or birds you may not have noticed before.
Pop Up Prairie is a private, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization focused on the use of native plants in urban landscaping to promote biodiversity for insects, birds and animals. Our mission is to inspire city dwellers to transition their piece of the community from a turf dominated landscape to a functioning, native eco-system.Established in 2015, we are governed by a volunteer board of directors and two volunteer officers.