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Discover Prairies, People, & Place with Doug Ladd at Hitchcock Nature Center

Posted on 5/16/2019
Join Pottawattamie County Conservation in welcoming Doug Ladd, recently retired Director of Conservation Science for the Missouri Chapter of The Nature Conservancy as he discusses the hows & whys of our prairie heritage during “Prairies, People, & Place” coming up on June 8th at 4:00 p.m. at Hitchcock Nature Center. This event is free with park admission or an annual membership & it is open to anyone age 14 & over.  

Visit our website to register online and for more information. 

Doug was kind enough to chat with our Naturalist Michelle to give you all an idea of what to expect & help you get to know him & his important work.

What sparked your interest in conservation and plants?

I’ve always been fascinated by nature and the amazing diversity and adaptation of life in our natural communities.  Some of my earliest memories are of walks with my mother, when she taught me the common names of many local wildflowers.

What is your favorite part of your work?

Being in the field and trying to figure out the composition, interrelationships, ecological patterns, and function of our natural systems, and how they can be sustained through time.

If you only had a minute or two to inspire or encourage people to care about conservation, what would you tell them? 

Modern humans depend on healthy, diverse ecosystems to sustain their quality of life just as much as people did thousands of years ago, although we have lost sight of this critical relationship between people and nature.  In addition to sustaining vibrant, healthy human societies, intact natural systems also provide a direct cultural and spiritual link to the original landscape and human history of an area; stewarding these irreplaceable resources provides a visceral reconnection with nature, and should be viewed by society as both a sacred responsibility and a powerful privilege.  The unique natural systems and their component organisms at any spot on earth define place from both human and ecological perspectives.

Are there any suggested books or publications you would suggest for participants who are interested in learning more prior the event in June? 

Tim Flannery’s book The Eternal Frontier is an enjoyable read providing critical perspective of North America’s deep ecological history; Edward O. Wilson’s classic The Diversity of Life provides critical insight into the importance of and threats facing biodiversity.  The Missouri Prairie Foundation’s publication, Missouri Prairie Journal, provides a variety of grassland-related articles and information, clearly written and beautifully illustrated.


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Book Review: Top Five Nature Story Books (6/14/2019)
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Something for Everyone May 11th (5/8/2019)

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