When UWL Sophomore Olivia Clark was in sixth grade, she started a business. “My first prairie restoration project was for my catholic middle school, St. Katharine Drexel School,” recalled Clark. Liv4prairie is focused on restoring prairies and creating a healthier world for all of us.
Clark spent the first few years, of running her business, learning more about local flora and website design. Clark stated, “The understanding of prairies that I acquired was from reading books and through trial and error.” She reported the success of Liv4prairie, “Since 2012, my business has been monetarily doubling each year.”
Clark’s business works towards a healthier world. “Throughout the last few years, Liv4prairie has started contracting with municipalities to restore prairies back into communities.” Clark is also working towards this in her own education. She is majoring in Biology with minors in Psychology and Environmental Studies.
Clark described her business’ mission as combating, “[environmental issues] in hopes of establishing and awaking a healthy world for a sustainable future.” Clark’s family has greatly influenced her knowledge and experience in this field.
Clark stated that her father taught her about the concept of land ethics at a young age. The UWL student explained that land ethics as the idea of humans regarding land, “not as a commodity belonging to us, but as a community to which we belong.”
In 1989, Clark’s family started their own 40 acre prairie in southern Wisconsin. Clark reported that this prairie originally contained 16 species and now is home to 176 native, Wisconsin plants. This prairie is also how Clark supplies her business. “All the seed we harvest is from our backyard and is picked by hand. This seed is used in our restoration mixes and for growing plants in our greenhouse,” Clark explained.
Clark went on to discuss why this issue should matter to all of us, “There is less than 1% of North America’s prairies left due to our demand for modernized agribusiness and development. This dramatic decrease of prairie lands directly correlates with species decline, increased flooding, and less carbon sinks – leading to more carbon dioxide in our atmosphere.” Clark wants to combat this through her business.
“UWL can support my mission by educating and getting the word out to their students on the importance of this ecosystem.” Clark stated. “Prairies provide benefits to the soil, air, water, organisms that reside in the flora and the ascetics of the area.”
Clark also noted, “UWL’s campus should be an example of an ecological sustainable community.” Clark had a final message for the UWL community. “Our campus community should be reminded that they are part of the natural world and not superior to it. People must understand and grow their ecological conscious about the world they live in.”
To learn more about Liv4prairie, visit here.