By Marcia Myers
Blog Editor, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter
The special Missouri Prairie Foundation 50th Anniversary Celebration last night on June 18 at 7:00 p.m. began with a “party on the patio” with Ted Drewes ice cream and social mingling, including with the film’s director Carey Lundin.
The entire event took place outdoors at the Nine Network and the Public Media Commons, including the screening of Jens Jensen: The Living Green. The documentary was a moving tribute to a landscape architect pioneer and visionary narrated by his great granddaughter.
Jensen (1860-1951) proposed that all neighborhood areas of Chicago have a local park and recognized the importance of “living green” space for everyone. Although that idea was not implemented, he had many successes with his ideas of using native plants, including prairie, and created American gardens as opposed to copying Europeans.
In addition to organizing early conservation movements, Jensen created Columbus Park, designed and re-designed parks, had private clients, and was one of the people who helped establish the Cook County Forest Preserve, which today has more than 69,000 acres.
As the evening progressed, the temperature dropped a bit and a welcome breeze made for an enjoyable night out.
Carol Davit, Executive Director of the Missouri Prairie Foundation, introduced the film and special guests, including a representative from Roeslein Alternative Energy, the company that made the free screening of the film at that venue possible. Lundin answered questions from the audience after the film.
At the end of the event, Grow Native! offered attendees free slender mountain mint (Pycnanthemum tenuifolium).
The film will be shown on Channel 9 on Sunday, June 26 at 5:00 p.m.