When the pioneers first came to Iowa and started to break the prairie, they subsisted mostly off of what they could plant and harvest from the surrounding land.
They often picked places of beauty to be their final resting place, among the prairie wildflowers and grasses that had sustained their lives. As an integral part of the land that gave them life, they soon returned to it. Some pioneer cemeteries also contain heirloom plants, often brought from the old country, that were planted by family members around the graves of those deceased.
These prairies have existed since long before the time these pioneers came to make a living out of the rich soil that the prairie gave us. It is ironic that some of the only prairie remnants left exist over top of the people that first came to break them. These cemeteries that harbor some of these heirloom plants and prairie remnants are our natural and genealogical heritage and treasures. It is a tribute to them to save these areas to show us a glimpse of what they saw when they came here.
Visit the State Association for the Preservation of Iowa Cemeteries for more information.