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Jeff Lampe

Jeff Lampe has been outdoor writer at the Journal Star in Peoria for 12 duck seasons. He lives in Elmwood with his wife Monica, sons Henry, Victor and Walter, and Llewellin setter Hawkeye. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., he is an avid fan of the Bills and still has mental scars from four consecutive Super Bowl losses. Outside of hunting and fishing, Lampe's main passion in Illinois was Class A boys basketball (which sadly no longer exists). Former publisher of the Class A Weekly newsletter, Lampe is a co-author of "100 Years of Madness" and "Classical Madness," both books focusing on prep basketball in Illinois.

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A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

Illinois Outdoors

Spring slow on the prairie

April 09, 2008 at 06:40 AM

OK, so this is hardly a big prairie. But the little native plants project we have been working to restore on the west side of Elmwood Elementary School continues for another year.

That despite somebody at Jordan’s gas station telling me,Illinois Outdoors
“The best thing you could do with those weeds would be to dig them up, seed it and start mowing.” Don’t get too upset by those comments. A few days later the same guy’s son brought the fire truck so we could burn off the prairie. That was March 26, when the little bluestem at right got a bit scorched and the beds (there’s another little plot nearby) took on their present barren look.

In the days since, not much has happened in the planting. Overall I’d say plants have been slow so far. Last year at this time my star magnolias had already started budding out. This year they are slow to open. To pass the time, I’ve collected a few more seeds and spread them on the prairie planting and have plans to buy a few plants from Stark County Soil and Water Conservation District (they have a sale every spring) to provide more fall color (since the kids come back to school after most of the prairie plants have bloomed).

Mostly I just need to be patient. As a reminder, I looked up the date on the picture below. It was May 28, 2007. That’s a long way off. I’m betting this year by that date the “weed planting” will be even more lush. And you know I’ll be keeping you posted.

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