This last summer I had a chance to document the Glacial Ridge Nature Preserve
near Crookston Minnesota for The Nature Conservancy. This preserve is the largest conservation prairie restoration project in US history; over 35,000 acres of restored prairie! The project was especially meaningful to me as I was hired over 10 years ago by the TNC to document the first photos of the newly acquired property. The Nature Conservancy has done their job well. They are now in the process of turning the restored prairie over to the US Fish & Wildlife service for continued maintenance and conservation.
Glacial Ridge is home to a wide variety of plant and animal life. It hosts one of Minnesota’s largest population of PrairieWhite Fringed Orchids, many other wildflowers species including the Prairie White LadySlipper. It has a substantial population of Sandhill Cranes and a variety of other waterfowl and birds.
If you decide to go make sure you stop in at the Rydell Wildlife Refuge
in nearby Erskine. Both Refuges are managed by Dave Bennett an interesting and friendly fellow who I am sure will share with you the latest sightings and Refuge information.
Spring (Mid to Late-May) is a great time to go for Prairie Smoke Wildflower and Prairie White LadySlippers.
Summer (Early to Late-July) is a great time to go for the Prairie White Fringed Orchids and other summer wildflowers.