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Kauffman Museum to celebrate anniversary of Prairie Reconstruction

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. -- Kauffman Museum at Bethel College in North Newton will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the prairie reconstruction project. The museum prairie is a living exhibit that provides for visitors a sample of the Kansas prairie prior to European settlement. The prairie also serves as an experiment in creating a replica of a dynamic ecosystem. The first programs commemorating this 20th anniversary are planned for July 11 at the museum. A four-month series of events is planned. A Kauffman Kids and Friends program at 2 p.m., Sunday, July 11 is "Introduction to Insects." Michael Unruh, a recent graduate of Peabody-Burns High School, will describe the main features of insects and the different orders of insects. He will also share basic steps for collecting insects. Participants will make an "insect" snack to help them learn about insect parts. This program is designed for children ages six to 12.

For older museum-goers, a Sunday-Afternoon-at-the-Museum program on "Grasshoppers and Butterflies of the Flint Hills and Tallgrass Prairie" is planned for 3:30 p.m., July 11. Valerie Wright, environmental educator and naturalist at Konza Prairie Biological Station near Manhattan, will give a PowerPoint presentation on insects of the prairie ecosystem.

Wright has wandered the 8,600 acres of Konza Prairie since 1994 and has directed the Konza Environmental Education Program (KEEP) since 1996. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minn., and her graduate degrees at the University of Minnesota.

Prior to the lecture, Ami Regier, assistant professor of English at Bethel College, will read poetry of the prairie.

Admission to these programs is free and open to the public. Kauffman Museum is located at 27th and North Main in North Newton. Call (316) 283-1612 for additional information.

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