Iowa Prairie Conference Field Trips

Join us for a field trip near you as part of the Iowa Prairie Conference! Registration links are below for each field trip. Just find your region using the map below and expand the region list to see which field trips are near you.

Note: All field trips take place on Sunday August 1st, 2021


If you have any questions, check out our FAQs page!

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Field Trips by Region

Region 1

1A. Prairie Hills Extraordinaire! 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

  • Enjoy a wagon ride and walk through Zales’ Prairie Hills located on the Scenic Byway of the northern Loess Hills in Plymouth County. Immerse yourself in original prairie remnants, restored prairie, and old and new reconstructions, while viewing outstanding scenery of the last best places of Iowa heritage. Register here.
1B. Broken Kettle Grasslands 1:00 – 3:00 PM
  • Visit the extensive Loess Hills prairie ridge tops of The Nature Conservancy’s Broken Kettle Grasslands. This area features a variety of plants and animals typically found further west in the Great Plains, and also provides critical habitat for many species of prairie butterflies. The hike will focus on prairie management using fire and grazing. Register here.
1C. Freda Haffner Kettlehole State Preserve 3:00 – 5:00 PM
  • Enjoy the Nature Conservancy’s Freda Haffner Kettlehole State Preserve, which protects one of Iowa’s largest glacial kettle holes and highly diverse native prairie communities. The hike will take participants to and around the kettlehole focusing on tallgrass and sand prairie, wetland plant species, and preserve management activities. Register here.

Region 2

2A. Prairie Resource Center - This field trip has been cancelled due to low registration. 2B. Wildin and Bernau Prairies 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

  • Wildin Prairie is an 80-acre gem that is home to a number of conservative native plant species and the state threatened green smooth snake. This prairie is also unique in that eleven potholes exist on site offering a diversity of habitat to an array of wildlife. Bernau Prairie is the largest remnant still privately owned within the state of Iowa. This prairie is permanently protected under a conservation easement with the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF). Register here.
2C. Stinson Prairie State Preserve - This field trip has been cancelled due to low registration.

Region 3

3A. Marshall County Prairies 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

  • Join Carl Kurtz, the "Johnny Appleseed of prairie", and Tim Youngquist for a hike at Spring Hill and Prairie Creek Wildlife Refuge. Many know Carl Kurtz because of his books on prairie reconstruction. For the last four decades his seed has been the source for countless reconstructions throughout central Iowa. Register here.
3B. Waterloo Area Prairie Remnants 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Visit some of the lesser known prairie remnants in the Cedar Valley near the Waterloo metro area. Participants will explore a spectrum of tallgrass prairie types from wet prairie to dry limestone outcrop prairie. Three sites will be included in this field trip. Register here.
3C. Hayden Prairie State Preserve Field Trip 4:00 – 6:00 PM
  • Hayden Prairie (240-acres) is the largest blacksoil prairie preserve in Iowa and one of Iowa’s best prairie remnants. It was purchased in 1945, the first prairie to be acquired by the state, and named to honor Dr. Ada Hayden, an early proponent of prairie preservation. In 1966, it was named a national registered landmark and two years later designated by Iowa as a state preserve. Register here.

Region 4

4A. Codfish Hollow Hill Prairie Walk 9:00 - 10:30 AM

  • Codfish Hollow hill prairie is a 60-acre site that offers over 100 native flowering species that are considered unique or uncommon. The landscape cover consists of remnant prairie hilltops, reconstructed prairie, woodland, and savanna components. Site management will be discussed, including protection of sensitive species from harm and promotion of special needs. Register here.
4B. Hidden Bluffs Farm 1:00 - 3:00 PM
  • Hidden Bluffs Farm has numerous prairie and savanna remnants and over 100 acres of reconstructed prairie and recreated oak savanna. Active projects are on-going with over 20 new acres added this year. Participants will be able to see active succession with multiple native plantings ranging from 1 to 25 years in age. Seeding methods and invasive species management will be discussed. Hidden Bluffs Farm was an early adopter of the Iowa State Prairie STRIPS program and is experimenting with natives in waterway conversions. Register here.
4C. Heritage Valley 2:00 - 4:00 PM
  • Participants will be led on a walking tour of actively-managed remnant hill prairies and learn about past and present restoration activities that have occurred over the last 14 years. Participants will also have time to freely explore the prairies and enjoy the diverse plant life and scenic views of this nearly 1,200 acre property along the Upper Iowa River. Register here.

Region 5

5A. Armstrong Prairie Walk 10:00 AM – 12:30 PM

  • Enjoy a hike on a Loess Hills prairie remnant with incredible diversity and beauty. The prairie was recently purchased by the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (INHF). Participants will have the first opportunity to hike the ridges which express a premier example of Loess Hills prairie. Register here.
5B. Wearin Prairie 1:00 – 4:00 PM
  • Join Glenn Pollock on a guided tour of a private 48-acre rare remnant floodplain prairie on the West Branch of the East Nishnabotna River. Register here.

Region 6

6A. Gems of Madison County 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM

  • Visit the gems of Madison county with Dr. Tom Rosberg. Paule Preserve is an oak-hickory savanna and sedge meadow remnant. Roslea’s Quarry is a mosaic of dry-mesic prairie reconstructions, dry rocky remnant prairies, and open oak hickory woodlands. The hike will focus on field experiments and management techniques that Roslea and Jon have used to steward and maintain the plant communities to a more natural condition. Register here.
6B. Diversity Farms Prairie Tours 1:00 – 4:00 PM
  • Tuel prairie is a privately owned 12-acre dry mesic remnant prairie. Adjacent is 25 acres of prairie reconstructions completed with seed from the remnant. Interesting plant species include prairie turnip, scurfy pea, false gromwell, red root, New Jersey tea, and porcupine grass. Judson Prairie is a dry to dry-mesic remnant underlain with Monteith sandy loam soil. Plant species of interest include sand milkweed, green milkweed, narrow-leaved green milkweed, long-haired hawkweed, scaly blazing star, and hairy grama grass. Register here.
6C. Prairie in the Sky 1:00 - 2:30 PM and 2:30 - 4:00 PM
  • Enjoy a visit to the Krause Gateway Center where the rooftop prairie connects native plants and unique architecture together to promote openness and creativity in an urban setting. The green roof planted with native grasses and flowers reduces the amount of energy usage and water runoff from the building. Register here for the first session and here for the second session.

Region 7

7A. Lee County Sand Prairie 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

  • Don Weiss, an amateur photographer, and author of a 2 volume series on wildflowers of southeastern Iowa will offer a guided tour of a sand prairie in Lee County. The 10-acre reconstructed prairie is approximately ¼ mile from the banks of the Mississippi River and is owned by the Lee County Conservation Board. Register here.
7B. Kessler Prairie Field Trip 1:00 – 3:00 PM
  • Join Jim and Kathy Kessler on an old, hilly farm south of Grinnell to see a wonderful example of tallgrass prairie and oak savanna. After 22 years of restoration work, the property hosts over 270 local native species. Native bee, butterfly, songbird, and other vertebrate wildlife populations have significantly increased as the quality of diverse habitats improved. Register here.