Let's Go Outside . . .
This project is new and more details and information will be added as they happen. Please check back often. See the Garden Progress page to see what's happening.
As of June 15, all the plants were planted. It's time to enjoy the Garden.
Special note to Garden visitors - please do not disturb the wildlife in the Garden. To be specific, right now we have a pair of Lark Sparrows with a nest in the flower beds. Please, do not disturb them. If you happen to see a bird fly off a nest, just back away and give them some space. Watching wildlife from a distance is a good thing to do.
The same would go for things you may or may not like, for example snakes. This Garden will likely attract them also, so please be aware of what's around you, but don't be scared of it.
Monarch photo by Doug Backlund, WildPhotosPhotography.com
South Dakota Prairie Butterfly Garden
Spring, summer and fall are all great times to get outside and enjoy the native prairies of South Dakota.
In June 2013, the USFWS South Dakota Field Office and the South Dakota Game Fish and Parks Departments will be creating a Butterfly Garden at Oahe Downstream Recreation Area.
Over 3,000 perennial plants and numerous annual plants will be established in an area approximately 90' x 50'. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to visit the garden to see native prairie plants, try to identify some of the common butterflies of the area, and learn something new about butterflies of South Dakota.
As you arrive at Oahe Downstream's Welcome Center later this summer, you may notice a large informational kiosk to the south of the parking lot next to a trail to the garden.
One side of the kiosk has general information about butterflies, butterfly behavior, and butterfly gardening. The other side of the kiosk has identification information for 10 common South Dakota butterflies and 2 rare skippers. A brochure will be available to take with you.
What's in the Garden?
Click here for a larger pdf version of the below draft layout of the prairie butterfly garden.
Seventeen South Dakota native perennial plants will be placed in 17 plots with 6 "clumps" of plants. Each "clump" is really made up of 36 individual plants of the same species. This type of grouping will encourage butterflies to linger in an area where the nectar is good. And shortens the flight distance to the next flowering clump. We have tried to arrange the plants so something will be blooming spring through fall and in a variety of color.
The native perennial plants may not look like much in 2013 - many of these plant species take two or more years to get to their full potential. While the plants are starting in nicely arranged clumps, we hope they will spread and fill in some gaps so it looks more like a native prairie setting. There will be plenty of annual plants to attract and feed the butterflies until then.
Special areas have been arranged for the butterflies.
We hope to have a few benches installed so you can stop and rest or just sit and watch the action.
The Connecticut Connection
Where is the Garden?
Oahe-Downstream Location Map
Fort Pierre, South Dakota
The Garden is located south of the parking lot by the Visitor Center. A large kiosk is at the edge of the trail.
You can also follow the progress on the Oahe Downstream Recreation Area facebook page:
Pictures of Before, During and After
Last updated: September 9, 2013