For the next three weekends, anyone with some energy and an old pair of shoes can help rebuild a prairie.
The Kansas Biological Survey is calling for volunteers to help collect seeds from native plants to be relocated at a 156-acre site south of Lawrence's Eagle Bend Golf Course.
The property is being converted to a natural grassland and wetlands area as part of a Lawrence Parks and Recreation project. The project eventually will involve 14 public and private agencies as well as individuals. It will cost about $37,000.
The seed collection is only a part of it, but it is a part that lends itself to volunteer labor.
In return for their efforts, volunteers will get a good introduction to wetland plants and a chance to see natural areas up close, said Alexandra Fraser, research assistant with the Kansas Biological Survey.
"It's an opportunity to learn about native plants and to see local wetlands and prairies," Fraser said.
The work won't be hard, she said.
"It'll be pleasant," she said, "much like picking flowers, but we'll be picking seeds instead."
The collection events will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. each Saturday. Volunteers will gather at Broken Arrow Park, 31st and Louisiana, before carpooling to the collection sites.
The groups will be working at Clinton Lake State Park on Saturday. On Oct. 16, they will be in the Baker Wetlands. On Oct. 23, they will be in Lawrence's Prairie Park.
Fraser suggesting that people wear shoes that they don't mind getting muddy, bring drinking water, and, if possible, bring paper grocery sacks and utility scissors or clippers.
Questions can be directed to Fraser by phone at 864-7694 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fraser said that if clubs or other groups are interested in collecting seeds, she would schedule special outings.
-- Kendrick Blackwood's phone message number is 832-7221. His e-mail address is email@example.com.