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  • Last modified 55 days ago (March 17, 2021)

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Progress continues at Flint Hills Counterpoint

Staff writer

It’s been tough for several months, but Susan Mayo sees good things on the horizon at Flint Hills Counterpoint.

Volunteers spent two seasons burning and clearing non-native species, paving the way for progress at 14 acres that are home base for a project to restore prairie and create an arts and tourism venue.

She is afraid the brush piles, stand of 300 young persimmon and pawpaw trees and empty tracts that await seeding don’t look like much right now.

“It feels like building a house,” she said. “You’ve done all this work getting the cement and the foundation and everything. And somebody comes and looks at it and says ‘Yeah that’s nice.’ ”

The effort restore a riparian bottomland moves forward in milestones that often feel like baby steps. Windbreaks have been cleared and will be seeded with native and pollinator grasses in early April.

A stand of native walnut trees is now free of undesirable species such as hackberry, hedge and elm that were choking them off.

Much to her delight, Mayo now has grand-‘Kids.’ Goats donated by an area veterinarian to control poison ivy gave birth days ago to male twins.

She expects ‘the boys’ to be a hit with participants who visit during the Musical Bike Adventure Ride April 17. The event will be the first put on by Flint Hills Counterpoint after COVID-19 shut down last summer’s lineup.

“They’ll be a month old, but they will still be very cute,” she said.

Flint Hills Counterpoint got shot in the arm in January with a $7,500 grant from Kansas Creative Arts Commission.

Documentary filmmaker Cyan Meeks, who producing a documentary about returning Mayo’s land to its native ecosystem.

The women met as artists in residence at Mattfield Green and were moved by each other’s work.

Mayo, a cellist, composer, will conduct a sound scape tour of the county with the help of Hamm’s students.

She already hears the creek beds coming to life as spring returns.

“The peepers are out, they are out for the first time,” Mayo said.

“They are little frogs that come out in the spring. They made their first appearance Saturday night and you can hear them now.”

Last modified March 17, 2021

 

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