A reminder of Indiana's endangered prairie communities, the small Spinn Prairie exemplifies how resilient nature can be by adapting back to its natural landscape after being used for agriculture. The natural communities found here include oak savanna, open mesic and wet prairie, willow shrub thickets and pin oak flatwoods.
Central Tallgrass Prairie
State Nature Preserve, 1988
The Nature Conservancy
Indianapolis Power & Light Company
Stewardship workdays are frequent and focus on seed collecting and invasive species removal. The Conservancy is also actively working on reversing the impacts made by man and prescribing burns to facilitate the natural disturbance the prairie depends on.
Acres of six foot tall bluestem grass makes room for colorful prairie plants on the drier upland area. White wild indigo, woodland sunflower, sweet coneflower, blazing star and rattlesnake master are just a few examples. A closer inspection of the vegetation will yield the ragged-fringed orchid, small green or tubercled orchid, nodding ladies' tresses and gentians. A variety of butterflies also make their home at the prairie. Look for the Black Dash, Black Swallowtail, Acadian Hairstreak, Eastern-tailed blue, Viceroy and Monarch. Bird species include Sora Rails, Summer Tanagers, Little Blue Herons and Red-headed Woodpeckers.
Although there is no trail, the accessible terrain and modest size of the preserve makes self-guided tours easy. Please read the Conservancy's Preserve Visitation Guidelines for more information.
From Lafayette, Indiana, travel north on SR 43 approximately 16 miles to Reynolds (SR 43 becomes US 421 at this point). Continue north on US 421 for 2 miles and turn right on CR 200 N. Travel 0.2 mile to a "T" intersection and turn right. The prairie is on the right side and park along the road.