The Living Prairie Museum, located in Winnipeg in Manitoba (in Canada) is a unique natural museum of sorts. A 'Prairie' refers to grasslands with long, slender, slanting grass. They are part of temperate climates and are generally characterized more by herbs, shrubs and grasses rather than trees. The 'natural' museum spans across 12 hectares (30 Acres) of reserved and preserved land right inside the city of Winnipeg. The reserve was created in 1968 and contains well over 160 prairie plant species along with a wide variety of prairie based animals.
A team of International Biological Program discovered that only the areas around Winnipeg were the most undisturbed and hence this reserve was constituted over 4 decades ago. Before the colonization of North America by Europeans, almost all of it, from Texas to South Manitoba and Winnipeg, was covered in Prairie grass. Today these grasslands only exist near Manitoba. Even here only 5% of the original grasslands still exist. Thanks to the Living Prairie Museum, the prairie grasslands continue to live.
The Museum was instituted to spread awareness and conserve natural ecosystem as much as possible, in the face of man's constant industrialization at the cost of depletion of natural beauty. It aims to preserve natural areas, especially the tall grass prairie lands, by way of education and action. Museum contains exhibits by a famous Winnipeg artist Collin Zipp as well as an interpretative centre that shows important and enlightening information on history of prairies and their importance to ecology.