HOISINGTON —With vision, a love for the outdoors and the peaceful, native Kansas prairie, Terry Nech of Hoisington will be restoring the Shop Creek Nature Area to its natural state. It is located in south Hoisington on Vine St.
Already, elderberries, currants, American plums, red cedar, tiger lilies, chokecherries are planted, along with a bench for sitting. Terry is committed to mowing a trail for walking and wants adult and children to come out and enjoy the area.
“Target species for the area are pollinators, birds and bats,” said Nech. “Bats are excellent insectivores.” He would like to plant various types of flowers so that there will be flowering plants thought the growing season and add additional benches.
“After the tornado, it flooded,” he said. “It can never be built on.”
Armed with a plan, Terry plans to continue what has been his life’s work. He is an almost retired biology teacher from Osborne High School and his wife, Melissa, is getting close to retirement.
The educator has also made a commitment to never use chemicals. He plans to till the property in a couple of years and replant native grasses along with native wildflowers. Also, he is hoping to get volunteer help to clean the creek, which is filled with litter.
The area belongs to the county, and the county commissioners approved leasing the property to Nech.
“Richard Boeckman and the Barton County Commissioners were instrumental in the groundwork for the nature area lease,” said Nech.” Early workers that have helped plant shrubs and work the planting ground are Dean Andereck and Dave McLeland.”
Terry and Melissa own prairie property in Smith County. Of that, many acres have been returned to its natural mixed prairie grass state. Formerly crop land named among the most productive in the county, shows his love for the outdoors. Each year, his biology students went on field days at the property.
A book called, “Last Child in the Woods,” by Richard Louv discusses how today’s children are disconnected from the natural world. This book is a favorite of Nechs, and it is his ambition to change what he can about that.
With that thought in mind, Nech purchased an additional two acres across the road, which he also intends to restore.
Melissa’s family roots are in Hoisington, and the two plan to retire there.