June 9, 2007 – (Close to) Home On the Range

On Thursday everyone but me went to Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge near Prairie City, Iowa, about 45 mintes south of us. Â The refuge contains over 5,000 acres of reconstructed prairie, with funding to add about 2500 more acres.  It’s been about 17 years since the first reconstructive plantings, so it is starting to look like a real midwestern tallgrass prairie!  There is an engaging interpretive center, appropriately built low into the ground as to fit into the open spaces. Great place for kids and adults alike.

There’s not many places in the US you’ll see a sign like this!

The bison currently graze about 800 acres of the refuge.

It’s nice to have a peek at what the original landscape may have looked like – although it is thought that this part of the tallgrass prairie was home to more elk than bision.  There are elk in the refuge, but this trip the bison were out.

Photo Credits for this day go to Claire.

one year ago…

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