Pollinator Seed Ball

Written by Connie on .

Back in May our chapter struggled to pull off a pollinator project with one of our local elementary schools.  Thanks to some creative thinking from the school officials

Nolanand our "Ace" Habitat guy, Black Hills PF member Darrel Kjerstad, we made some last minute plan changes and pulled it off!  Rather than busing the kids out to a local farm to plant the pollinator, the kids participated in several different activities and went home with a seed ball to plant.








Nolan was one of the kids that got to take that seed ball home and successfully planted it!  Here he stands showing off his pollinator seed ball, nest in tall wheat grass. (Photo courtesy Black Hills PF member Darrel Kjerstad.)

Modest Increase in Pheasant Numbers

Written by Connie on .

→  The following article is from the Mitchell, SD newspaper The Daily Republic by Luke Hagen on June 19, 2015.  ↑


SD Pheasants Should See 'Modest' Increases

Favorable weather for a second consecutive year is helping to increase South Dakota's pheasant numbers after a period of declining population, giving hunters reason to be optimistic for the upcoming season.Mitchell Republic


Travis Runia - the lead upland game biologist for South Dakota Game, Fish, and Parks Department - said as the mid-June pheasant hatches arrives, he's predicting a "modest increase" in the statewide population. this year.


"Information is starting to trickle in and we're starting to get some good reports," he said earlier this week in an interview with The Daily Republic.


Runia uses weather data annually to predict the pheasant hatch, which runs into mid-July.  He analyzes winter snowfall and spring rain totals to consider nesting conditions and get an approximation on bird numbers for the upcoming hunting season.


A mild winter, and an uneventful spring with enough, but not to much rain, make ripe conditions for the pheasant hatch.  Spring moisture is needed to grow thick grass cover for habitat and nesting concealment.


The mild winter and favorable spring throughout most of the state, Runia said, have created strong conditions for the pheasant production. The Mitchell area, for example, had about 22 inches of snow over the winter, which is about 13 inches below average, and about 6 inches of rain in April and May, nearly an ideal amount, Runia said.


Those factors should produce an increase in numbers, Runia said.  But he added that it is unlikely to see an abundance of young pheasant families out and about right away. 


"Even though we are in that peak hatch period right now, the birds are pretty secretive and tough to detect," he said.

Click here to continue reading the entire article.  (Photo is a Republic file photo.)

Pollinator Project Fun Day

Written by Connie on .

Much needed rain has fallen throughout the Black Hills and surrounding area the last several weeks making it difficult for our chapter to pull off our pollinator project with Pinedale Elementary School.  After postponing our event twice, we were down to the wire and with the help of the school's awesome teachers we were able to pull together plan B at the last minute ensuring the students were still able to participate.  Grades K-4 enjoyed mostly indoor activities; everything from making simulated bee hives to take home, word association, and "pollination transfer", to name a few.  One specific activity the kids did was to choose different kinds of food and learn if the food would disappear from human consumption without honey bees.  It was a great learning experience for everyone!


Black Hills PF wants to thank volunteers Suan N., Kendall K., Rick E., DeAnn E., and Lowell S. for coming and helping us out.  Members Darrel K., Karl C., and Bill and Connie S. want to especially thank and give a big shout out to not only the teachers who hosted us, but also to Mrs. Chappell and Mrs. Georges for coordinating our event.  Thank you to principle Mr. Owen for inviting us into your school - we look forward to an event again next year!  (Photo's courtesy Black Hills PF Member Connie S.)