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Omaha officer finds peace in huge prairie garden | Nebraska news

“I’ve gone a little overboard with 3,000 square feet of my lawn converted to prairie,” he said, “but anyone can set aside a little section of their landscaping and plant native plants and play a role in protecting and benefiting the planet.”

Pecha’s show-stopping display is all because of a tree that fell in his front yard several years ago, leaving behind a huge pile of sawdust and wood chips. Pecha couldn’t decide what to do with the area, so he purchased seed and scattered it. He even used the Save the Bees packets from Cheerios cereal boxes.

He collected seeds from those plants at summer’s end, and the next year, he tossed them in a second plot. Last spring, he decided to dive in completely. He switched to planting plugs and brought in more native species with seeds from Stock Seed Farm in Murdock, Nebraska, and Prairie Moon Nursery in Minnesota.

“It became more than being outside,” he said. “I wanted to do something for nature. The bees and butterflies and birds.”

Pecha always has been an outdoor enthusiast. But with the arrival of two children, exciting mountain hikes turned into easier trips to Glacier Creek Preserve in Bennington and nearby state parks.

He started to develop a deeper connection to and love for the prairie and its plants and what people consider flyover country.

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