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Calvary Cemetery home to last remnants of native prairie grass

By Adam Allington, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis, MO – Biologists from the Missouri Department of Conservation were setting fire to part of Calvary Cemetery in North St. Louis on Wednesday.

MDC will set fire to about 18 acres of native prairie grassland some of the last remaining remnants of native blue stem and Indian grass which used to cover about 1/3 of the St. Louis region.

Erin Shank is an Urban Wildlife Biologist for MDC. She says fire is a necessary part of prairie ecosystems which disappeared when humans populated the area.

"This piece of land that we're standing on now has never been developed," says Shank. "It really is a true prairie remnant,"

The prairie grass is located in an unused portion of Calvary Cemetery, but is less than a mile away from the grave of Auguste Chouteau, the man who helped choose the site for the City of St. Louis