2019-2020 Tallgrass Prairie Center Highlights
Google Map’s algorithm is convinced that the Tallgrass Prairie Center is a museum, but we have no exhibits or regular tours. When we host the occasional class field trip, we temporarily resemble a nature center. The seminars and conferences we hold wouldn’t be out of place coming from a nonprofit conservation organization. We’re proud to be a part of UNI’s College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences, but we are not an academic department. When UNI students use our facilities for research, we function as a university field station. In the summer, the seed production plots look like a flower farm.
So, what is the Tallgrass Prairie Center? We are aspirational yet pragmatic. We balance education with action, applied research with community service. We support those who manage Iowa’s roadsides — 60% of Iowa’s public lands — for everyone to use and enjoy. Our research has shaped federal Conservation Reserve Program policy; the Iowa-source foundation seed we release to commercial seed growers propagates the genetic heritage of the nearly extinct tallgrass prairie ecosystem. TPC educational materials can be found in schools, museums, government conservation offices and nature centers throughout the prairie states. “Research and Extension for Prairie Restoration” comes pretty close to a good description.