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Rare piece of land brings prairie history to life in St. James

Living Prairie Museum provides free, educational fun for families

May 17, 2019

It’s a rare piece of land tucked off to the side of Ness Avenue that offers a glimpse into what the prairies looked like in the past.

“This is a site of a tall grass prairie that has never been ploughed up,” said Sarah Semmler, the Living Prairie Museum Director.

The Living Prairie Museum spans 12 hectares and features wildflowers, grasses, and wildlife that call Winnipeg home. Trails weave through the site for people to explore.

There is no cost to visit the museum, which also features an interpretive centre to educate residents about the ecosystem they live in.

In addition to learning about the prairie preserve, there is a pollinating insect exhibit and pollinator gardens so you can also get up close to insects found in the area.

The museum also features a herbarium collection with around 350 dried plant species.

“They offer us a lot of information about the biodiversity we might have in an area,” said Semmler, adding the collection is available to be viewed online for researchers around the world to access.

The Living Prairie Museum sits on a 12 hectare preserve set aside in 1968. It features more than 160 species of prairie plants. The Living Prairie Museum sits on a 12 hectare preserve set aside in 1968. It features more than 160 species of prairie plants. The Living Prairie Museum sits on a 12 hectare preserve set aside in 1968. It features more than 160 species of prairie plants. The Living Prairie Museum sits on a 12 hectare preserve set aside in 1968. It features more than 160 species of prairie plants. The Living Prairie Museum sits on a 12 hectare preserve set aside in 1968. It features more than 160 species of prairie plants. The Living Prairie Museum sits on a 12 hectare preserve set aside in 1968. It features more than 160 species of prairie plants. The Living Prairie Museum sits on a 12 hectare preserve set aside in 1968. It features more than 160 species of prairie plants. The Living Prairie Museum sits on a 12 hectare preserve set aside in 1968. It features more than 160 species of prairie plants.

The museum also offers a variety of school programs on environmental education. Depending on the time of year, employees will visit classrooms to hold presentations or students will visit the museum.

The Interpretive Centre is located at 2795 Ness Ave. It is open Sundays in May and June, and is open daily in July and August. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the trails are open from dawn until dusk.