Little remains of the tallgrass prairies that blanketed millions of acres of America's heartland just 170 years ago. These prairies were part of a vast grassland complex that ranged from the Gulf of Mexico north into Canada. The tallgrass prairie was...

The tallgrass prairie...

...a sea of grass sometimes taller than a horse and rider
...a carpet of wildflowers presenting a stunning spectrum of colors ...a foundation of black, loamy soil that seemed boundless.

Tallgrass rangeTo the west were shorter, mixed-grass prairies, which had adapted to lower rainfall. To the east, the tallgrass prairie mingled with deciduous woodlands. Throughout the Midwest, tallgrass prairies dominated the landscape in the era before European settlement.

Almost all of these vast prairies are gone—but some people are trying to preserve and restore them. Can you build a tallgrass prairie?

"Build-A-Prairie" is part of the Bell LIVE! 1999 "On the Prairie" program.

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