Dirt from construction buries school's prairie

In late July, contractors began flattening a one-and-a-half acre prairie at Clarion-Goldfield-Dows High School, burying it with dirt unearthed during adjacent construction projects at White Fox Landing and the high school’s parking lot.

As of press time, around half of the prairie has been buried, a decision which the school said it made to conserve topsoil for a potential new agricultural test plot, as well as help protect its football practice field.

“It’s sad because we worked so hard to get everything together,” said Mackenzie (Rector) Van, currently of Wichita, Kansas, who developed the plot for her 2007 High School Life Project.

“We spent hours stopping at road ditches, collecting seeds,” she said of the multi-month process of acquiring material from 70 plants native to Wright County.

She and her family subsequently seeded them into the strip, restoring it to how much of the area landscape looked before Euro-American settlement in the 1800s.

 “It’s possible that most of it is going to be graded,” said Superintendent Dr. Bob Olson, who said the decision to re-grade the area was made by the Clarion-Goldfield School Board during discussions last year concerning conveying school property for the housing development.

The prairie sits to the north of the bus barn and high school parking lot (also currently under construction), and to the east of the open field used for sports practice.

Read more about people’s reaction to and the school’s statement concerning this matter in the August 7 issue of the Wright County Monitor.