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Tastes in the Tallgrass raises over $35K for Spring Creek Prairie

Tastes in the Tallgrass raises over $35K for Spring Creek Prairie

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After hosting a virtual “Tune into the Tallgrass” event in 2020, staff members at the Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center (SCPAC) south of Denton celebrated returning to an in-person 13th annual Tastes in the Tallgrass fundraising event Sept. 12 on the tallgrass prairie.

“We are so happy to be able to welcome our supporters and friends back to the prairie this year,” Megan Sittler, SCPAC’s fourth-year director, said at the event. “The whole evening has a celebratory feel as we are able to gather together again at this amazing place. Mother Nature has put on another amazing show for the evening.”

Sittler said that SCPAC restricted attendance to 170, including supporters, volunteers and staff members, which was just over 50% of normal attendance at the event.

“We technically were not under health directives regarding event capacity, however as a staff and planning committee, we wanted to ensure we could space people out appropriately and alter the event’s layout to accommodate more social distancing,” Sittler said. “Our priority was ensuring the safety of our guests, staff and volunteers while still enjoying a wonderful evening on the prairie.”

Guests enjoyed the sights, sounds and flavors of a “prairie style” sunset dinner. The event offered wine and beer, a signature drink, appetizers and a buffet meal catered by Venue Restaurant & Lounge served at tables outdoors on the beautiful autumn prairie. Prairie walks, live music by the Lightning Bugs and a live auction of contributed works of art and experiences were all part of the event.

Sittler had not yet received some final invoices from the fundraiser at press time. But based on the gross amount raised, she estimated the event would net between $35,000 and $40,000. The funds support SCPAC’s habitat and education programs, as well as the trails on the 850-acre tallgrass prairie.

“The funds are a key part to ensuring our programs can continue to excel and the prairie can be experienced by all of our visitors,” she said.

Sittler announced that SCPAC’s priorities for the coming year include continuing to improve accessibility and equitable access for prairie visitors, as well as opportunities to deliver conservation outcomes off-site.

“We are in the process of completing some repairs and improvements to our accessible trail loop and the Prairie Corridor segment at Spring Creek,” she said. “Our habitat program has grown to continue to work with more private landowners on prescribed fire and other management practices, both on their own property but also at Spring Creek Prairie by using SCP as a demonstration site for different practices.”

SCPAC has developed partnerships in Lincoln and Omaha as well as other locations to highlight its Plants for Birds work.

“Additionally, our volunteer program continues to grow, and we consider continuing that trend and support for that trend a priority,” she added.

Other speakers at the event were Kristal Stoner, vice president of the National Audubon Society and executive director of Audubon Nebraska; Liz Lange, SCPAC stewardship advisory board chair; and Jason St. Sauver, SCPAC senior manager of education, who served as emcee. Bailey Feit was event chair.

For more information on the SCPAC, see


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