Sports Eligibility Packet
Fine Arts Eligibility Packet
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Super Senior Passport Application
to Sauk Centre's Public Schools Environmental Page!
1995-96 school year, District 743 was among 12 state schools to receive
a partnership grant from the School Nature Area Project (SNAP). SNAP
assisted with the planning and the beginning stages of the development
of the Prairie-n-River Learning Site. SNAP also assisted with initial
training for teachers to incorporate environmental education, using the
nature site within their curriculum.
Sauk Centre community has also been involved in the development of this
area. A committee of school staff and community members continues to
monitor and expand on current needs and projects.
community groups have provided money and labor for projects which
enhance the learning value of the site and increase its usefulness to
our school and the community.
of this area is two fold. One purpose is to provide outdoor educational
opportunities for the students of Sauk Centre Schools. Trails, decks
and tables make the area more accessible and user friendly to students
and staff. Another purpose of this area is to provide a natural
resource to the students and the larger community of Sauk Centre for
enjoyment and relaxation.
PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING
sunrise to sunset
-no smoking, drugs or alcohol
-no glass bottles
-no camping or open fires
-open to cross country skiing
-no motorized vehicles, except for official use
-stay only designated trails
-pets need to be on a leash-clean up all pet droppings
-take only pictures, leave only footprints
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property is open to the public. There are several walking trails for
your enjoyment. There is an observation deck along the river with
picnic tables that you are welcome to use. Please keep in mind the
rules listed on this website as well as all school rules when using the
There are 14 acres of restored prairie on
the school's land. Located in the northeast corner along the Sauk
River, there is a loop trail that runs through the prairie for ease of
was begun in 1997 under the direction of Stearns Country Soil and
Water Conservation District. SCSW helped coordinate the purchase of
seed and preparation of the land. To get the land ready, there were
fences and on old farm building to remove as this land had been used
for pasture. This was handled by the school and Youth Service
Volunteers. The Sauk Centre Fire Department burned the site to remove
existing dried plant material. After the burn, it was easier to kill
the non-native species with a spray as they emerged.
Nearly 20 million acres of tall grass prairie once
covered Minnesota. Currently less than 1 % of these native prairies
remain. Sauk Centre is unique in that it lies on the edge of the
original prairie and deciduous woods of this area.
Prairies are a type of grassland that is dominated
by herbaceous plants, especially grasses. Trees are either absent or
only widely scattered on the landscape. Grasslands are the largest
vegetation type in North America, covering approximately 15 % of the
land area. Prairies are the grassland found in the central part of the
North American continent. Rainfall decreases from east to west,
resulting in different types of prairies with the tall grass prairie in
the wetter eastern region, mixed-grass prairie in the central Great
Plains, and short grass prairie toward the rain shadow of the Rockies.
Today, these three prairie types largely correspond to the corn/soybean
area, the wheat belt, and the western rangelands, respectively.
The first European settlers moving westward from the
forests of the eastern United States encountered the prairies, which
seemed like a vast ocean of grass. The wind caused waves on the surface
of the shimmering grasses.
It was easy to get lost on the prairie, especially
since there were few trees or other features for landmarks. Some of the
early settlers turned back from the prairies. They thought land that
could not grow trees would not be good farming land.
Occurring in the
central part of North America, prairies are subject to extreme ranges
in temperatures, with hot summers and cold winters. The temperatures
also fluctuate greatly during growing seasons. Rainfall also plays a
major role in determining the distribution of prairies across North
America. Boundaries of prairies are always in a state of flux. During
periods of drought, trees died and prairie plants took over previously
forested areas. When rainfall was more abundant, the trees and forests
were able to reestablish themselves.
Fire has always been a natural component of
prairies. Before European settlement, they were either started by
lightning or Native Americans. Prairies typically burned every one to
five years. The fires moved quickly across the plains. While the fires
destroyed tree saplings and thatch, it did not harm the soil or the
roots in the soil. The fire also served the purpose of releasing
nutrients from thatch back to the soil. The soil underneath the prairie
is a dense tangle of roots, rhizomes, bulbs, corms and rootstocks. The
above ground portion of the prairie dies back each year, but the
largest portion of the plants, which is below ground, survives for many
years. For example, big bluestem roots may be 7 feet deep and switch
grass roots can be more than 11 feet deep.
Sauk River borders the school land from the north end along the Highway
17 bridge to the southern most edge of the school property. Starting in
Osakis Lake and winding for 119 miles to the Mississippi River near
Sartell, this river is known to many. The Sauk River is part of the
Mississippi River Drainage Basin, the largest basin in the United
States. For more information on the Sauk River, visit the Environmental Protection
When you look at portions of this river, you will see oxbow lakes.
These crescent shaped lake segments were once part of the river proper
but were left behind when the frequent spring floods rearranged the
flow you see today.
Also evident on this river are meanders, which
are large curves in the stream. They are an indication this stream has
been here for a long time. They are formed when the swifter current on
outside curves of a stream erode away and these same eroded materials
are deposited on inner curves of a stream where the current is less
The Sauk River has many floodplains or broad, flat valley floors. These
have been created through the many meanderings of a stream over time.
When a stream floods, it will cover a part of or the whole floodplain,
leaving behind rich eroded sediments.