Update

Dear supporters, friends, and family,

Thanks so much for your patience and support as we respond to an evolving situation. The plan we have developed maintains the spirit and intention of our original mission while fluidly responding to recent events.

Viper’s passing was a startling event to take place at the onset of the expedition–one that we have been deeply affected by. We intend to hold him in our hearts, minds, and plans as we move forward.

In addition to losing Viper, after working with our other horses for several weeks, we grew concerned that two of them were not physically fit or sound enough to make the trip. This past week we returned Bongo and Barry to Wyoming Horses and picked up a great little mare named Ruby in exchange. We were sad to see them go, but are excited to meet the horses that will join us.

We plan to spend the coming weeks putting together a new set of horses and spend the coming month and a half working with them. If our search for two new horses is successful we hope to begin our trip in September. We are grateful for the opportunity to spend the next six weeks working on the Flying H ranch in Sheridan, WY as we reorganize our team. From the ranch we can continue our search for appropriate horses, work with them extensively before we begin our trip, and begin exploring grassland conservation in the Sheridan Area.

Because winter will be just around the corner when we begin in September, it won’t be possible to make it all the way across the plains before the weather hits. We will alter our route to take into account a later start date. We plan to hone in on projects and initiatives that particularly excite us along a path most appropriate to the season we’ll be riding in. We’ll keep you up to date as our modified route continues to develop. We expect to ride for approximately two months before wrapping up around the end of October/beginning of November. At that point we will begin post production of our documentary and will dive into our educational initiative which will remain an integral component of our project. Though our route will slightly diverge from that which we originally outlined, we intend to retain the heart, spirit, and intention of our trip: to get the word out about the beauty and importance of the prairie.

 In the meantime, here in Sheridan we are situated in an area that will prove to be an interesting ecological case study for our trip. From ranching to fishing to oil and gas development, the land around here has myriad uses that in turn have diverse effects on its surrounding ecosystems. We will begin filming from here, and will keep you keyed into our findings from the surrounding prairies.

Thanks so much for your continued support as we move forward.

Take care,

Robin and Sebastian

Some Sad News

I am writing with some very sad news about our horse Viper. Over the weekend he broke his leg and had to be put down. He got tangled in the picket line and spooked. He was so brave and gentle throughout the whole night. He had his head on my shoulder from about a minute after he broke it until right before he was put down.

With one horse less, we are unable to begin the ride at the beginning of this month as planned. We are working towards finding a solution, and will keep you updated as we know more. Thank you for your support and good wishes (especially those for Viper).

Robin and Sebastian

A very big week!

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Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette

This has been such a fun and exciting week for Rediscovering The Prairie! Here are just a few highlights:

On Monday we opened up the front page of the Colorado Springs Gazette to a great article by Carol McGraw announcing our trip to the C. Springs community. You can take a look at it here!

Over the weekend, our Indiegogo campaign wrapped up with an outstanding  $15,825 raised through the generous donations of friends, families, and prairie aficionados alike. We raised nearly 4k more than our $12,000 goal! We are so astounded and appreciative of the overwhelming support the project and its objectives have received. An enormous thank you to all who contributed and shared the campaign with their communities. We are so thrilled to be able to say that at the end of June we will launch our expedition and head East, thanks to the generosity and support of all of our contributors.

This coming weekend (!) we are heading North to Wyoming to select the horses we will spend the next four months with and will begin working with them. We could not be more excited to meet the horses and to begin to build a relationship with them. We’ll have a bag full of carrots…

The next two weeks we will be focusing our efforts on raising the remaining $10,000 needed to safely and effectively carry out this expedition. Please lend a hand if you haven’t already and make a contribution by clicking the “donate” button to the right. If you are connected to any foundations or organizations that would be interested in becoming involved at a greater capacity as a donor or sponsor, please let us know, we would love to connect with them. 

Thanks so much for your support, we can’t wait to begin.

Calling all Prairie Lovers

Dear Prairie lovers far and wide,

You may not know it yet, but I bet you are a prairie lover. What’s more, I bet our project to cross the American prairie on horseback, celebrating our beautiful and disappearing grasslands, will help you rediscover a love for the prairie and the myriad animals, insects, and plants it is home to.

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Let’s take the Sprague’s Pipit. I learned all about this little guy while reading Trevor Herriot’s brilliant Grass, Sky, Song, a chilling look at the steady disappearance of grassland birds. The male pipit circles high above its mate and sings to her for up to 3 hours, the longest display of any bird on the planet. Until recently, the Sprague’s pipit was one of the most plentiful songbirds in the prairie. According to Birdlife International, the Sprague’s Pipit has declined at a rate of 32 percent per decade in the United States since 1970. The story of the Sprague’s pipit is not an anomaly in the world of grassland birds.

We hope to have the immense luck to see one of the remaining Sprague’s pipits on our journey across the prairie. We hope we’ll be able to communicate just how beautiful and vulnerable this bird is and how precious the native grasses host to it and many others are– how imperative it is that they do not go the way of the buffalo and disappear from the prairie altogether. Speaking of buffalo, they’re back. We’ll be visiting one of the visionary Bison restoration projects in Northeastern Montana, and can’t wait to tell you all about it.

We only have about 3 weeks to raise the remaining $9,000 dollars needed to saddle up. We are so appreciative and moved by all the support everyone has shown (we have secured over $20,000 through generous donations, grants, and sponsorships). Please double your enthusiasm, lend a hand and make a contribution if you can, and let all of your friends know they can donate to our project through our website under the “Donate” tab and sidebar. We are so thankful for your help in our final push. Let’s make it happen.

Robin, Sebastian, and Winnie

p.s. Follow us on Instagram at RediscoveringThePrairie as we prepare to saddle up. Our most recent post is a great picture of Winnie choosing her favorite orange safety gear.

Sprague’s Pipit, Photo: Greg Lavaty

Colorado Springs Independent Reports!

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Colorado Springs Independent writer Edie Adelstein reports about the expedition to Rediscover the Prairie as we come into the final days of our Indiegogo campaign to ride across the North American Prairie. Check it out!

We’ve only get 9 days and $4,500 to go- please help us make it happen! We need all the support we can get! Make a contribution at our IndieGoGo Campaign  and pass it along to your family, friends, and cohorts!

Thanks for sharing CSIndy!!

Artwork by Eleanor Anderson

We’re Halfway there! Thank you so much!

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We are delighted to announce that we are halfway through our campaign and half of the way to reach our GOAL! We are so thankful to the many contributors who have come out in support of “Rediscovering the Great American Prairie.”  We are incredibly appreciative and overjoyed by the support and enthusiasm the project has received from our family, friends, and communities. Our vision and dream are becoming more and more of a reality every day, and for that, we have you to thank. You are helping to inspire the protection and conservation of North America’s prairies. We have made some exciting developments and contacts, so stay tuned!

We need your help to raise the remaining 50% of our goal, so saddle up, and please share your excitement about the project by e-mailing your friends, families, dentists, colleagues, and dog walkers. You can help by posting our campaign page http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/rediscovering-the-great-american-prairie on your Facebook and other social media networks, contact us about linking our page on your website, or become an individual or corporate sponsor of the project. Again, thank you SO MUCH for your unbridled (get it?) excitement and support; we are overwhelmed by the generosity and drive of our communities. Please help us move that fundraising bar from halfway to complete on our Indiegogo page.  Please don’t hesitate to contact us with ideas, suggestions, and comments about the campaign and the project at RediscoverthePrairie@gmail.com

See you around the bend,

Robin and Sebastian

(artwork by Eleanor Anderson: www.EleanorAnderson.com

Indiegogo campaign Launched!

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We’re excited to announce that starting TODAY, for the first time you’ll be able to help make our project a reality by visiting our newly launched Indigogo campaign! Give a little, Give a lot, whatever support you can share will be incredibly appreciated. And remember, pass it along to your friends and families, co-workers, your boss, your nanny and your dog’s veterinarian. We’ve only got THIRTY DAYS to go, so don’t wait! thanks so much for all the support! Check it out: www.indiegogo.com/projects/rediscovering-the-great-american-prairie

Artwork by Eleanor Anderson (www.eleanoranderson.com)