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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Nature Conservancy Ordway Prairie HQ Open House July 24

Hey, here's something I didn't know about: The Nature Conservancy runs the Samuel H. Ordway, Jr. Memorial Preserve up west of Leola in McPherson County. No campsites or other facilities, just a visitor trail and 7800 acres of mostly untilled prairie. Oh yeah, and 250 head of bison. (Remember, bison are not pets! They will step on you!)

The Ordway Prairie is part of a larger stretch of 135,000 acres—about 210 square miles—of untilled prairie that reaches up to North Dakota. Sounds like a lot of beautiful open country.

The Ordway Prairie is the largest preserve owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy in South Dakota. The Nature Conservancy is working on preserving ten other sites in our fair state. The Ordway Prairie pings onto my radar by announcing an open house at its headquarters on July 24. The open house will be the first time the public can come in and see the new energy-efficient building. Some highlights in the construction:
  1. south-facing windows for natural light and passive solar heat in winter
  2. light-colored roof and wide overhangs to reduce heat in summer
  3. lots of recycled material in the doors, windows, and steel
  4. efficient appliances and low-flow water fixtures
And coming up: a wind turbine and solar panel to produce energy on site.

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