Post updated at 12:51 p.m. Wednesday, May 3:
A group of community members on Monday will gather for a healing event following the destruction of wildflowers on remnant prairie behind Prairie Park Nature Center.
“Many of us are heartbroken by the senseless herbicidal spraying of an old growth, diverse prairie owned by the City of Lawrence,” organizers wrote of the event. “Most of the wildflowers are damaged or dying in this rare intact prairie which has existed in place over 6,000 years. Let us come together at the prairie, for the sake of the prairie in its time of need.”
There will be a short ceremony led by Haskell Indian Nations University professor Dan Wildcat, including Steve Cadue, Kickapoo Elder and past tribal chair; Ron Brave, traditional Lakota singer; Courtney Masterson, ecologist and executive director of Native Lands Restoration Collaborative; Ken Lassman, ecological writer and and curator of the Kaw Valley Almanac; Rev. Shelley Page, Unitarian Universalist minister; and Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, poet.
“We will also have time to sit, stand, and walk in silence, individually speaking to and connecting with the prairie itself,” according to a Facebook page about the event.
The event is set for 7 p.m. Monday, May 8 at the prairie, which is behind Prairie Park Nature Center, 2730 Harper St. in Lawrence.
“While there is a need for change, demand for safeguards and organized long-term restoration (a petition and sign up will be available), now is the time for healing,” organizers wrote.
The gathering was set at 7 p.m. to provide time for people who wish to attend the beginning of the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Advisory Board meeting, which is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. Monday at the Parks and Rec department’s administrative offices, 1141 Massachusetts St. The board will hear an update on the prairie to start its regular agenda.
The advisory board accepts written public comments emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org until noon the day of the meeting. The board also hears public comment in person at the LPRD offices or via Zoom. Register for the Zoom meeting at this link. See the full meeting agenda at this link. Meetings are also livestreamed on the city’s YouTube channel.