In Iowa, less than 1/10 of 1 percent of our native prairie exists today. Remnant and restored prairies provide a multitude of ecosystem services. Deep-rooted prairie plants and grasses absorb rainwater, provide habitat for pollinators and overwintering species, and add months of vibrant colors to any landscape.
But prairie systems do require annual maintenance, at least in the early years after establishment. Once native plants and grasses are strong enough to out-compete pressures from invasive species, prairie ecosystems can thrive without much human intervention.
The final two videos in our Conservation Education Film Series, embedded below, detail the importance of native prairies and how even the smallest of prairie installations have a big impact. We also dive into what it takes to maintain a prairie so that the full spectrum of environmental benefits are realized in the long-term.