Clay Prairie Preserve
Butler Center, Iowa

Management is difficult in Iowa's current landscape. No longer do buffalo herds pass through to crop, fertilize or leave seeds from distant prairies. Nor can we predict when the next storm will create a regional fire to recycle nutrients or set-back the growth of adventive shrubs and trees. Our preserve is a little island surrounded by a sea of tilled land, and we "island stewards" must plan to execute management. From the "sea" come many foreign organisms, chemicals and erosive forces which buffet the shores, flora and fauna of the preserve. Even though we have lived on these lands for about 200 years, we still must learn how to manage isolated "islands."

Currently fire, pruning, limited chemicals and fencing are the prime management tools. The inital three assist control of adventive woody shrubs, forbs and grasses which invade the prairie turf. Until the forces of adventives, trampling and road ditch management are controlled, prairie management can not cease. To these ends, we are dedicated.

The clay prairie Preserve is administered and managed by the Biological Preserves Committee, Department of Biology, University of Northern Iowa. Since no budget is allocated specifically to the clay prairie Preserve, financial support is provided chiefly by the department and from contributions to the UNI Foundation.

A Clay Prairie Preserve Endowment fund was recently established to insure long-term management and protection, enable studies to evaluate management practices and aid Clay Prairie Preserve education.

Friends may contribute to the Clay Prairie Preserve Endowment by sending their gifts to:
Clay Prairie Preserve Endowment Fund
University of Northern Iowa Foundation
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614

Friends may share or request preserve information by contacting:
Department of Biology
University of Northern Iowa
Cedar Falls, Iowa 50614-0421
(319) 273-2456


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Department of Biology   University of Northern Iowa    Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0421
(319) 273-2456    FAX: (319) 273-7125

Last updated September 7, 2004 by the Webmaster.