Anderson Prairie is a 25-acre prairie remnant that is being restored to its pre-settlement condition. It is owned by the Pana School District and managed in cooperation with the Pana Natural Heritage Society.
More than 300 species of plants have been cataloged in Anderson Prairie. More than 50 species of butterflies have also been counted here.
Located along a former railroad line, the park is across the street from Pana High School. Thus, Anderson Prairie serves as both museum and classroom for Pana High School students.
The black swallowtail is a common butterfly found in a variety of habitats because its larval host plants are often cultivated by people.
Caterpillars feed on members of the parsley family including carrots, dill, parsley and Queen
Anne’s lace (sometimes known as wild carrot). Wild parsley, another common roadside weed, is used as well.
Common native plants of this family such as golden alexanders are also used.
Bronze coppers have been typically easy to find right next to the main driveway in Anderson Prairie Park.
The tend to be found in wet areas. Adults like to feed on the nectar of milkweed.
Anderson Prairie Park is home to some of the bronze copper’s larval host plants including: Rumex crispus– Curly Dock, Rumex altissimus– Pale Dock and Rumex verticillatus– Swamp Dock.