2021 Theme

Prairie People: Deep Roots

Next year’s NatureCity Festival will celebrate the DEEP ROOTS of our prairie city. As prairie people, we are deeply reliant on the grassland ecosystem. Human beings have been living here for thousands of years, depending on plants for food, medicine and inspiration. When Euro-Canadian settlers arrived a century and more ago, they took advantage of the rich, fertile soils created by prairie plants, even using the root-matted sod to build their first homes.

Today, though so much has changed, we continue to rely on wild species and wild places for food, respite and health.

Nurturing a connection with our home place is an important and necessary step in encouraging people to advocate for wildlife and wild spaces in this city and beyond.

Prairie plants offer a natural solution to climate change.

By concentrating much of their growth underground, native grasses and other prairie plants build and bind the soil, making the ground fertile, spongy and absorbent, and sequestering carbon. These plants offer both a natural solution to climate change and a way of mitigating some of its most damaging results including floods and the urban-heat-island effect.

Prairie plants also create habitat for critters great and small.

Plants are the basis of ecosystems, providing food and shelter for microorganisms, insects, birds and mammals: all our relations. The complex interaction between wild bees and wild flowers is particularly beautiful and important. Even on the scale of a city garden, these relationships can be restored. DEEP ROOTS. GROUND FOR HOPE. That’s what’s NatureCity 2021 is all about!