Prairie Pothole Day 2017 a huge success
NEW LONDON — The 35th annual Prairie Pothole Day drew kids, dogs and hunters to the Stoney Ridge Farm near New London last weekend.
The one-day event is used as a vehicle to raise money to improve waterfowl habitat and educate people about the importance of wetlands.
"It was a great day and the people there had a really good time," said LeRoy Dahlke, president of Prairie Pothole.
Activities included dog jumping and retrieving, a 3-D archery trail, a sporting clay course, black-powder shooting and educational displays about the environment and wildlife.
Kids lined up to climb the Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center's portable climbing wall, shoot BB guns, try their hand at archery and have snakes draped around their necks at a display that also featured an examining pond water for bugs.
Pens of puppies were available for petting and for purchase, along with hunting and outdoor merchandise from vendors.
The event is free, but raffle tickets are sold with chances to win guns and others items donated by area businesses.
Dahlke said the crowd was a little smaller than last year and it's expected that not as much money was raised as in the past.
"I think we did OK overall," said Dahlke, who estimated the event grossed around $44,000.
He said people took advantage of the beautiful weather and spent time walking the trails, playing the games and talking with educators and vendors.
"It was such a nice day and the companionship and camaraderie of everyone was great," he said. "It's so much fun."
Dahlke said the organization would welcome more volunteers to plan and work at the event next year. "I'm not going to make any bones about it, we need help," he said. People interested in Prairie Pothole can contact Dahlke at 320-796-2787.