Monday, Aug. 30, 2010 11:30 am | Contact: Laureen Van Wyk,, 641-269-4720


GRINNELL, IA – Grinnell College’s Center for Prairie Studies will celebrate local roots and landscape during a prairie festival on Sat., Sept. 18, at the Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA), located 11 mi. southwest of the campus.

The one-day “Prairie Festival: A Celebration of Art, Music and Land” is held in conjunction with Iowa Prairie Heritage Week, an annual declaration by the Governor of Iowa. Festival organizers Jon Andelson, director of the Center for Prairie Studies, and Larissa Mottl, manager of CERA, say that the event is a celebration of renewed connections with the tallgrass prairie region of North America.

“Part of the mission of CERA, the Center for Prairie Studies, and the Festival is to involve people in the local landscape,” Andelson said, “so we’re pleased to be offering a variety of ways for people to experience and enjoy the prairie at CERA. Participants can listen to music and prairie readings that resonate with the land, weave prairie grasses and flowers, view and vote for their favorite prairie-themed photographs on display and enjoy a variety of locally produced and prepared food.”

Mottl adds, “We timed the festival so people could enjoy the prairie at its peak fall bloom. We’ll have guided walks through prairie and savanna, and talk about some of our ongoing research and restoration projects.”

The celebration will also include announcing the winners of a prairie photo contest sponsored by the Center for Prairie Studies. The center will accept photo submissions of wildlife, plants, prairie and savanna landscape, and related themes until Sept. 10. Additional information is available at the Center’s website: Questions may be directed to vanwyk[at]grinnell[dot]edu.

The Festival activities, beginning at 12:45 p.m. on Sept. 18, will include:

• 12:45-1:15 p.m.: Meskwaki drum group

• 1:15-2:30 p.m.: Nature walk for all ages

• 2-2:30 p.m.: Meskwaki drum and dance group

• 2:30-3 p.m.: Prairie Readings I, moderated by Catherine Rod, college archivist, and Lesley Delmenico, associate professor of theatre

• 3-3:30 p.m. : Live music

• 3-4:30 p.m.: Art for all ages with Tilly Woodward, Faulconer Gallery curator of academic and public outreach

• 3:30-4 p.m.: Prairie Readings II, moderated by Catherine Rod, college archivist, and Lesley Delmenico, associate professor of theatre

• 3:30-4:30 p.m.: Prairie walk for all ages

• 4 p.m.: Live music by Too Many Strings Band

• 4:30 p.m.: Art installation group project and announcement of winners of photography contest

Transportation to CERA will be available from the Grinnell Community Center and from the Joe Rosenfield Center on the Grinnell campus. The college welcomes the participation of people with disabilities. If accommodations are needed, please contact the event’s sponsoring organization as soon as possible to make a request.

For a complete schedule, consult the Center’s website at Center for Prairie Studies or call Laureen Van Wyk at the Center for Prairie Studies at 641-269-4720. There is no rain date for this event.