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Niobrara in Knox County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

An Ocean of Grass

Ponca and the Prairie Environment

 
 
An Ocean of Grass Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 7, 2021
1. An Ocean of Grass Marker
Inscription.  
Seen through Ponca eyes, the original prairie environment was a cherished sea of grasses and plants. Together, with the buffalo, we kept the prairie healthy. Buffalo herds would graze the vast landscape, and our people would collect different types of prairie plants to be used for food, medicine, and other purposes.

Fire was another important aspect of a healthy prairie. Controlled burns have long been used by our people to enrich the nutrient content and managed growth of the prairie. Also, unstoppable prairie blazes could be triggered when lightening struck the dry grass of late summer. Fierce fires would sweep across the landscape for hundreds of miles.

Today, we are actively engaged in prairie restoration efforts. Seeds indigenous to the Niobrara region are being replanted here. These mixed grasses and wildflowers will once again allow our tribe to harvest plants for cultural use and to enjoy the beauty of our inland "ocean."

Ponca culture and the health of prairielands are closely intertwined.

[illustrations]
big bluestem • sunflower • goldenrod • blue gamma • prairie turnip • burrowing
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owl • switchgrass • yarrow • echinacea • prairie dog • gopher snake
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: AnimalsEnvironmentHorticulture & ForestryNative Americans.
 
Location. 42° 42.787′ N, 98° 4.473′ W. Marker is in Niobrara, Nebraska, in Knox County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of 521st Avenue and 890th Road, on the left when traveling north. Marker is located along the Ponca Educational Trail at the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska Powwow Grounds. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Niobrara NE 68760, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Water's Edge (within shouting distance of this marker); Symbol of Our Spirit (within shouting distance of this marker); Our Ponca Tribal Community Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Water Invites Reflection (about 400 feet away); The Buffalo's Gift (about 400 feet away); Our Village Homes (about 500 feet away); Pow Wow! (about 600 feet away); I Carry My Home With Me (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Niobrara.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Ponca Educational Trail
 
An Ocean of Grass Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 7, 2021
2. An Ocean of Grass Marker
(looking north along the Ponca Educational Trail)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 27, 2022. It was originally submitted on February 26, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 105 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 26, 2022, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Jun. 23, 2024