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England Prairie receives grant

The England Prairie Pioneer Club was selected to receive free paint and coatings by the Initiative Foundation of Little Falls and the Valspar Corporation of Minneapolis.

England Prairie volunteer Carl Trager, who put in the application, said they received the same grant three or four years ago, and some of the buildings were due for re-painting.

The Pioneer Club keeps the place spruced up in preparation for the annual Pioneer Days, held in late summer.

This year, the 33rd annual event will run August 24-26.

Al Jeske, another England Prairie member, said the site is worked on about one day a week.

Sentence to Serve crews were also working on the England Prairie site Wednesday.

Trager said the goal of England Prairie Pioneer Club is to educate and show how past generations did things on a farm.

Dan Frank of the Initiative Foundation said England Prairie asked for 23 gallons of paint, and received at least that much.

"Somebody getting 25 or 30 gallons of paint oftentimes runs up over $1,000 in donations," he said.

Frank added that he knows where work needs to be done.

"The museum is going to be painted, the main building, another main building on the farm is going to be painted, and then there are several other projects," he said.

The chapel is being stained, and the bleachers at the tractor pull track are also being worked on.

Frank said the Valspar group donates paint from its main supply, while not aiming to rid themselves of unsellable, old or defective paint.

Other recipients were the Leader-Poplar Senior Citizens Center of Staples, Oasis Central in Little Falls, A Place For You in Pine City, City of Maple Lake and the Mille Lacs County Agricultural Society of Princeton.