Prairie Pothole Day Designed to Inspire Generations of Outdoor Enthusiasts in West Central Minnesota – West Central Tribune

Prairie Pothole Day Designed to Inspire Generations of Outdoor Enthusiasts in West Central Minnesota – West Central Tribune


– Households and out of doors fans from throughout west-central Minnesota gathered at Stoney Ridgey Farm close to New London on Saturday, Sept. 10 to take part within the thirty ninth annual Prairie Pothole Day.

The occasion, organized by buddies and volunteers of the Prairie Pothole Conservation Affiliation, helps elevate funds for conservation efforts in surrounding communities.

“This 12 months would have been the fortieth” 12 months of the occasion, stated Tom Hanson, 61, president of the conservation group, however the group selected to not maintain the occasion in 2020 as a result of pandemic.

Tents scattered across the grounds of Stoney Ridge Farm, positioned off State Freeway 9 and US Freeway 71 northwest of New London, maintain varied conservation and out of doors recreation displays throughout Nest Day- de-poule des Prairies on Saturday, September 10, 2022.

Dale Morin / West Central Tribune

Prairie Pothole Day is designed to carry Minnesota households to spend a day outside and find out about sports activities and conservation by actions and displays. Admission has all the time been free and varied raffles are held all through the day to assist elevate funds for conservation efforts.

Regardless of the occasion’s lengthy historical past, the Prairie Pothole Conservation Affiliation is adjusting to a brand new interval in its life.

In response to Hanson, the affiliation was fashioned out of necessity. The group was as soon as a chapter of the defunct Minnesota Waterfowl Affiliation, which disbanded in 2019. Hanson stated the affiliation is all the time searching for different conservation teams to collaborate with.

“We’re sort of within the fledgling states of getting our title on the market in several areas,” he stated.


Kids descend from the climbing wall utilizing their harnesses on Prairie Pothole Day, Saturday, September 10, 2022, at Stoney Ridge Farm in northwest New London.

Dale Morin / West Central Tribune

Even with the brand new uncertainty, the affiliation has been capable of keep Woodie Camp, an out of doors summer time camp for kids on the Prairie Wetlands Studying Heart in Fergus Falls. Hanson stated a big portion of the day’s proceeds will go to that camp, in addition to constructing and sustaining the wooden duck home that the group performs year-round.

Hanson stated Prairie Pothole Day has raised about $15,000 in 2021, and primarily based on the day’s turnout, he expects the same fundraising outcome from 2022. The occasion attracts hundreds of individuals annually, and Hanson estimated attendance in 2022 at greater than 5,000 folks.

Roger Strand, 86, proprietor of Stoney Ridge Farm close to New London, has been part of Prairie Pothole Day since its inception. In response to Strand, it grew out of a bunch of outside fans wanting to carry an occasion just like Sport Honest, one other out of doors and conservation occasion held yearly.

“I stated if we had been going to do that…then we are able to maintain it at my home.” Strand stated. “The foundations can be that there isn’t a admission price and all kids’s occasions are free.”

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Cattails and reeds assist camouflage wooden duck shelters close to the lake at Stoney Ridge Farm northwest of New London, pictured on Saturday September 10, 2022, Prairie Pothole Day.

Dale Morin / West Central Tribune

Having a everlasting location like Stoney Ridge Farm has allowed generations of individuals to return to the occasion to assist construct a complete group of outside fans.

“With out this property, we can not exist,” Hanson stated. “(Strand) opens up the entire (space) to us and tells us ‘do what it’s a must to do’. We flip round and, if we see a path or one thing that we need to do in another way, we take it out, present him and he says, ‘yeah, do it’.

Strand stated the imaginative and prescient for Prairie Pothole Day is a family-oriented occasion.

“It begins once they’re about that age,” he says, pointing to a small youngster taking part in within the sandbox in entrance of his wooden duck show stand and wooden duck shelter. “Then as they grow old they begin volunteering right here and operating across the property doing chores, and now we’ve third era committee members, and nobody makes a dime. They’re all volunteers.”

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A pair of wooden duck shelters sit on the sting of the comb at Stoney Ridge Farm close to State Freeway 9 and US Freeway 71 northwest of New London, pictured Saturday, September 10, 2022, throughout the Prairie Pothole Day.

Dale Morin / West Central Tribune

The Strand property is a outstanding location for an out of doors occasion. There are surrounding lakes, rolling hills the place the capturing ranges had been arrange. The closely forested areas host a scout camp and different actions, together with an archery course. Strand’s uniquely designed picket duck homes dot all the space.

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A sequence of capturing ranges are in preparation for Prairie Pothole Day on September 10, 2022 at Stoney Ridge Farm northwest of New London.

Dale Morin / West Central Tribune

“It is superb,” Hanson stated. “After we are right here in early August we see deer, geese, swans, turkeys, squirrels (and) many different birds. It is simply wildlife habitat right here.

The fortieth annual Prairie Pothole Day is scheduled for September 9, 2023, and organizers have lots to remember within the coming 12 months.

“Plenty of totally different concepts (are) being mentioned,” Hanson stated. “Mainly, we find yourself with a core exhibitor yearly, however we need to increase that and supply various kinds of out of doors actions that simply go ‘wow!'”

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As guests head again to their automobiles, an indication studying “Thanks, see you subsequent 12 months on Saturday September ninth” invitations them to return again for Prairie Pothole Day in 2023.

Dale Morin / West Central Tribune

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