Fremont Area Community Foundation demonstrated its commitment to environmental stewardship by achieving Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC) Conservation Certification for its turf to prairie conversion project.

The certification recognizes not only the specific efforts of the prairie conversion but also the Community Foundation’s commitment to conservation.

“Companies achieving WHC Conservation Certification, like Fremont Area Community Foundation, are environmental leaders, voluntarily managing their lands to support sustainable ecosystems and the communities that surround them,” said Margaret O’Gorman, WHC president.

Plans for returning the Community Foundation’s turf and landscaping to native landscape were initially drawn in 2005. The project was carried out in phases over several years. Now, most of the eight-acre property features attractive natural grasses and wildflowers and a variety of birds, butterflies, and other wildlife.

The public is invited to self-tour the Community Foundation prairie, located at 4424 West 48th Street. A walking path begins at the rear of the parking lot and is marked by a sign identifying some of the plants that can be found.

Mary Huisjen, FACF special projects associate and gardening enthusiast, said that groups like the Fremont Garden Club have toured the prairie and that students have even used it as a backdrop for their senior photos.

“It’s a good way to educate the community about natural plants and grasses,” said Huisjen. “Some of the grasses are even turning color now. Come take in nature and see it in all the different seasons.”

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