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What is Left of the Prairie?


It is estimated that less than 0.1% of Iowa's original prairie remains.  A majority of Iowa was once covered with prairie.  The few scattered remnants left are often overlooked in the vast sea of row crops and non-native species that have been planted everywhere.  Some remnants exist in pastures that have never been plowed, some in road ditches, and some in pioneer cemeteries.  Work is ongoing to identify, and hopefully protect, those few remnants that remain.  

Go to our Pre-Settlement and Current Landcover page to see the historic extent of prairie and other vegetation communities in your area.  There are also maps of  present vegetation types in your area.  

This site is offered to help people get in touch with their environment.  In order for people to care about preserving what's left, they must first know what they have.  If people are to care about the plight of the prairie, they must be able to see, and if not understand it, at least revel in its' beauty.  

Remember to ask permission if a remnant is on private land.  Prairie plants are wonderful to view in the wild.  Removing them from their native habitat robs all of us of their beauty and our natural heritage.  They are also hard to transplant, and most often die.  Therefore, they are best left in their native state for all to enjoy, so please don't remove any plants from a remnant.  

Do you own, or have located a prairie remnant?  Would like to showcase that special place to the people of Iowa?  Contact us and we will put it on this site.


Iowa Prairies by Agency or Organization

Not all of these areas are prairies, but all harbor some of Iowa's rarest plants and ecosystems.

Iowa State Preserves -  Managed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources

National Wildlife Refuges in Iowa - Managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service

Iowa Preserves Protected by The Nature Conservancy

Iowa Land Projects by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation

Loess Hills of Iowa 
     Iowa Geological Survey  - Loess Hills Site
      Loess Hills Photography
     Another Loess Hills Site
     USGS Loess Hills Site
     Student Report on the Loess Hills


Prairies Listed by Iowa County

This is a list of prairies that have a webpage currently available for that site.

 

Black Hawk County

    Cedar Hills Sand Prairie

Butler County

    Clay Prairie

Calhoun County

    CCCB Areas

Cedar County

     Rochester Cemetery2

Cerro Gordo

    Hoffman Prairie

Clinton County

    Manikowski Prairie - 2

    CCB Areas

Cherokee County

    Nestor Stiles Prairie

    Steele Prairie

Crawford County

    CCB Prairie Areas

Des Moines County

    CCB Areas

Dickenson County

    Cayler Prairie

    Freda Haffner Kettlehole

Dubuque County

     CCB Areas

Emmet County

    Anderson Prairie

Grundy County

     CCB Cemeteries

Guthrie County

    Sheeder Prairie

Howard County

    Hayden Prairie

    Crossman Prairie

Jasper County

    Kish-Ke-Kosh Prairie

    Neil Smith Refuge (Formerly Walnut Creek)

Johnson County

    Finkbine Prairie

    Solon Prairie

    Williams Prairie

Jones County

 

Kossuth County

    Stinson Prairie

Lyon County

    Gitchie Manitou

Mahaska County

     Eddyville Dunes  - 2 - 3

Monona

    Sylvan Runkel Preserve

    Tourin Loess Hills Preserve

Marshall County

    Marietta Sand Prairie

Plymouth County

    Five Ridge Prairie

    Mount Talbot

Pocahontas County

    Kalsow Prairie

Polk County

    Engeldinger Marsh

Pottawatamie County

     Hitchcock Nature Area

Shelby County

   Derald Dinesen Prairie

Story County

    Ames High School Prairie

    Doolittle Prairie

Warren County

    Rolling Thunder Prairie

Webster County

    Liska-Stanek

Woodbury

    Mount Talbot

    Stone State Park

    Sioux City Prairie