A Talk With Gary and Linda Mabis

By: Stan Jordan

Gary and Linda Mabis came in the other day and we discussed “The Prairie” out at the Antwerp High School.

Linda got the idea of a place that would be safe for our native birds, bees and bugs. She had attended a seminar in Dayton called “The Midwest Nature Plan” and it is all about feeding and taking care of our little friends that are native to our area.

Linda talked it over with Mr. Manz and Dr. Miller and they offered her that 2 acre plot northeast of the school and attached to the school parking lot.

As I understand the grass in that area is no good for the native birds, bugs and other little varmints. They can’t live in that type of fescue, no organism can live in that type of grass.

There is a pavilion that is 14 X 44 feet. This pavilion is helpful in many ways. Bench seats to rest, picnic tables and shelter from the sun and rain.

Now, that picture shows a bird house for the native Chimney Swift. They are use to nesting in chimneys, but in our way of living a chimney is a scarce item. That nest is also for blue birds, which are native to Ohio.

We talked about nature weeds and I asked about milkweeds and Linda told me the milkweed is very helpful. The Monarch butterfly will lay their eggs on the weed and other birds will not bother the eggs, for some reason birds will not bother milkweed.

The Monarch butterfly will migrate to Mexico or to southern California and there are many pitfalls for the Monarch: rain, wind, heat and mist.

All the plants and bushes that will be set out here are good for pollination or food, like bird seeds, sun flowers, purple cane flowers and the well known black eyed Susan.

All the trees and bushes will have printed name tags that tell what it is as all are native to the local birds and bugs. All the picnic area is open to the public at any time and you can park at the school parking lot.

Linda said that if you have a special type of plant you can set it out if you have a label for it, if it is native.

Teachers can use the Prairie as a lab and for field trips.

The Prairie is not finished yet.

See ya!