McGovern to lead tour of Kossuth County prairies

By Taylor on June 17, 2015 in Blog

The sun sets over Wildin Prairie.

The sun sets over Wildin Heritage Prairie. (Photo by Joe McGovern)

INHF President Joe McGovern will lead tours of three prairies in Kossuth County on Saturday, June 27. The field trips will last from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and are co-sponsored by INHF, the Iowa Native Plant Society and the Iowa Prairie Network.

The day will begin at Stinson Prairie State Preserve, a 32-acre prairie located near Algona. Purchased in 1969 by Kossuth County Conservation, it had been used as a hayfield by Stinson families since 1881. In 1971, it was dedicated as a biological state preserve.


One of Wildin’s 16 potholes can be seen in the distance.

Following a bring-your-own picnic lunch, we will proceed to an afternoon visit at INHF’s Wildin Heritage Prairie, an 80-acre remnant and restored prairie with 16 small potholes. The site has never been drained or plowed.


This tour provides the opportunity to see Bernau Prairie, which is not normally open for public use.

We will also visit Bernau Prairie, which is not ordinarily open to the public. In 2010, it was the largest known unprotected native “black soil” prairie left in Iowa. In 2011, it gained permanent protection through INHF conservation easements. It now has two separate owners, Gary Bernau and the Swanson family of Nevada, but it will continue to be known as Bernau Prairie.

Participants should bring: Lunch, camp chairs or blankets to sit on, rubber boots. A restroom will be provided at Wildin Heritage Prairie.

Directions to Stinson Prairie: From the intersection of Highway 169 and Highway 18 in Algona, take Highway 18 west for 4.5 miles to 70th Avenue. Turn south (left) and go 2.5 miles to the preserve on the west side of the road. There will be a sign.