Steele State Prairie Preserve, Cherokee County

14 Sep

When I am just out and about aimlessly wandering back roads looking for images or checking out an area I don’t drive often it is always a pleasure to happen upon something, The other day I became acquainted with the Steele State Prairie Preserve. I was driving in Cherokee County and saw on a map I have the markings of the preserve. Sometimes one never knows what you might find. In this instance I was a little disappointed. When I got the the preserve which states it: “consists of 200 acres of native tallgrass prairie in two tracts, both of which are located northwest of Larrabee, Iowa. This undeveloped land is owned by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, which purchased the site with assistance from The Nature Conservancy in 1986. The land is managed by the Cherokee County Conservation Board. “

I looked for some information at the site, guessing that it was covered in native grasses, but no signage gave any clue about that, other than it is cared for by a local conservation board. No visible trails with markings helping educate anyone wanting to learn something about native prairie grasses in the state of Iowa. I guessed that the area is primarily used by hunters looking for pheasant or other bird varieties that would find cover in the tall brush and grass.

Still, it is nice there are such reprieves from the surrounding landscape. But I think it is important to educate people about why the preserve is there and to maybe put up a little signage explaining its purpose and why these preserves are important.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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