Pocket Prairie

The Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum and Anthony Marinello of Dropseed Native Landscapes will host an interactive workshop on “pocket prairies” in the former agricultural extension of the Vanderbilt Mansion. Workshop participants will learn all about Long Island’s unique grassland communities—from the only tall-grass prairie east of the Allegheny Mountains to the maritime grasslands along our coasts—and discover what makes Long Island’s imperiled plant communities unique and why they deserve our appreciation and preservation. All in attendance will learn how to conveniently convert a section of their lawn into a brand-new “pocket prairie,” restoring a small section of the native grasslands frequently lost to suburbanization and ornamental landscaping.


Program participants will also have the option to purchase a “pocket prairie” take home kit, allowing them to implement the lessons learned during the workshop. Each kit includes a 3×4′ sheet of cardboard, a bag of cedar mulch, and 12 landscape plugs to create a prairie of their own. All plants will remain under 3′ and so these plants are perfectly suitable for front- or backyards. Additionally, all these plants are native to Long Island and will attract and support pollinators, butterflies, and songbirds throughout their life cycle. 

A participation fee of $50 is required for the workshop with an optional supplies fee of $100 for those wishing to create their own “pocket prairie” at home. Supplemental supplies and materials will be available for an additional cost to attendees who wish to create a larger pocket prairie.

Location: The “pocket prairie” workshop will take place on the grounds of the Suffolk County Vanderbilt Museum’s Superintendent’s Cottage, which is located across the street from the main campus. Handicapped parking will be available for program participants.