What’s Growing On?

Much of the work at World Garden Commons is to reestablish prairie grass and flowers within the 18-acre stormwater pond. An established prairie can better absorb rainfall, promote soil conservation, provide habitat for animals and is simply beautiful.

The Game and Fish Department of North Dakota assembled a guide describing 50 species of prairie wildflowers and grasses, identifying the plant with an image and a brief description.  The following lists the grasses, wild flowers and weeds those working onsite are trying to promote or, in the case of weeds, trying to eliminate.

Found at World Garden Commons:


Little Bluestem, Side Oats Grama, Blue Grama, Poverty Oat Grass, June Grass, Sand Bluestem, Canada Wild Rye, Switch Grass, Sweet Grass


Astor, Azure Aster, Black-Eyed Susan, Butterfly Weed, Canada Milk Vetch, Common Milkweed, Common Ox-Eye, Dotted Blazing Star, Golden Alexander, Gray Goldenrod, Hoary Vervain, Leadplant, Meadow Blazing Star, Northern Bedstraw, Prairie Cinquefoil, Prairie Rose, Purple Cone Flower, Purple Prairie Clover, Rough Blazing Star, Showy Penstemon, Smooth Aster, Stiff Tickseed, Upland Goldenrod, Western Spiderwort, White Prairie Clover, Wild Bergamot, Yarrow,

Opportunists (Weeds):

Birdsfoot trefoil, Canada Thistle, Curly Doc, Dandelion, Foxtail Barley, Plantain, Quackgrass, Ragweed



Are you tired of driving 100’s of miles to go to Powwow but still want to dance, sing, or watch?

MINI POW WOW Sun. Aug. 20, 2017 Rabanus Park, Fargo

DAY: August 20, 2017
TIME: 1:00 to 4:00 PM
TITLE: Mini Pow Wow;
WHERE: Rabanus Park 4301 18th Ave So, Fargo
Hosted by: Fargo Native American Commission

Well, then, come to this Mini-Powwow on Sunday, August 20th 2017 at the World Garden Commons in Rabanus Park (4315 18th Ave. South, Fargo) from 1 – 4 p.m..

The Native American Commission is co-sponsoring a mini-powwow with The Fargo Project for your enjoyment and will be having a small meal.

So, bring your shawls and dress your little ones in their regalia, shake out your old grass dance regalia or throw a bustle on and come out and dance. We are looking for dancers, singers, drummers, or anybody who did not leave town for a powwow but still wants to dance to the inter-tribal songs, just like old traditional days.

Grand Entry will be at 1 p.m. to start the powwow and we want everyone to be in the Grand Entry with or without your regalia, remember this is for family fun and to teach our children to have fun as a traditional native family.

Please call me or email for more information: Willard Yellow Bird, Cultural Planner, wyellowbird@FargoND.gov


Going Native

In 2012 the Rabanus Park stormwater basin looked like the rest of the stormwater basins in the city: short grass, yellow with dandelions in the spring, and home to a few geese. In short, quite ugly. Today, the World Garden Commons basin is becoming a home to a bouquet of prairie grasses, flowers, pollinators, songbirds, and wetland plants that hold shape into the fall and even in winter.

Going native with the landscape has many ecological and aesthetic benefits, and World Garden Commons is the perfect setting for residents to experience the perennial beauty of diverse native grasses and flowers.

A native landscape provides long-term cost savings on fertilizer, watering, and mowing. The deep roots of prairie grasses bind carbon captured from the atmosphere into the soil, combating climate change, improving degraded soils and water infiltration, and creating a habitat for pollinators and birds.

While a mature native landscape is low maintenance, it takes up to three to five years for a new site to establish. At World Garden Commons “going native” started in 2013 when the Park District simply stopped mowing at the site. In 2015, Blaine Keller of Prairie Restorations began in earnest to prepare the basin for a diversity of new native plants.

2012 panoramic view of the Rabanus stormwater basin with mowed lawn

2012 view of Rabanus basin with short, mowed lawn

In the spring of 2016, Jesse Riley, a Ph.D. candidate in natural resource management, tilled 25 test plots to assess the optimal vegetation seed mix based on establishment, resisting encroachment, hardiness, and durability for stormwater basins. The seed plots present different flowers each season and each year as the plots mature. One season white flowers may dominate; in another year, during the same season, yellow may be the primary color.

While walking through the site this spring, Blaine identified aster, purple prairie clover, prairie smoke, black-eyed susan, cordgrass, milkweed, bull rush, foxtail barley, slender wheat grass, sweet grass, silverweed, yarrow, and nettle.

Because it takes time for native plants to mature, Blaine and Prairie Restoration will continue onsite maintenance. The height and density of weed cover determines if it’s more advantageous to mow to prevent weeds from seeding or if weeding by hand will suffice. It also determines when a scheduled burn will stimulate growth of native grasses and wildflowers.

The next steps for World Garden Commons and the Fargo Project are to train others to differentiate between the desired prairie flowers, grasses, and wetland plants, and the undesirable weeds. The hope is that once others learn to identify the plants, they would feel compelled to participate in the hand weeding that promotes the diversity of native plants in the basin.

Aug 13 – International Speed Friending Photo Extravaganza

DAY: August 13, 2017
TIME: 1:00 to 4:00 PM
TITLE: International Speed Friending Photo Extravaganza
WHERE: Rabanus Park 4301 18th Ave So, Fargo
Hosted by: The World in Fargo Moorhead

Join us for an (free) afternoon of friendship, food, photos, and fun (for adults and kids).  Sunday, August 13th from 1-4 p.m., The World in Fargo-Moorhead is hosting an International Speed Friending event at Rabanus Park in Fargo.

1:00 – 2:00 International Speed Friending. Sit with people from all over the world and learn about them. We will have seven sessions of eight minutes each for you to sit across from someone you don’t know and get to know about them and their culture. Conversation starters will be available at each table.

2:00 – 3:00 PM Food! Join us for a delicious buffet of Nepalese food provided by Everest Tikka House of Moorhead.

3:00 – 4:00 PM Instant Photo Booth and Share-Your-Story Stand. Have your picture taken by one of our photographers and have it instantly printed in our photo booth! This is also an opportunity to learn about The World in Fargo-Moorhead, a project which showcases diversity in the Red River Valley by taking pictures and recording the stories of those born abroad. The World in Fargo-Moorhead shares these pictures and stories on social media and in a traveling art exhibit. If you are interested in sharing your story with The World in Fargo-Moorhead, or if you’d like to volunteer with us in any capacity, come talk to some of our photographers and interviewers.

The World in Fargo-Moorhead shows the diversity of our area one portrait and one story at a time. These photos and stories are posted weekly to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We also create exhibits that are shown at libraries, churches and other public spaces.

Supporting the free events at World Garden Commons in Rabanus Park from 1-4 p.m. on Sundays