Information on the preserve:
Spring Prairie Preserve includes a booming ground for greater prairie chickens and provides nesting habitat for numerous grassland birds. Because it is located between two highly significant native prairie complexes it serves as a biological stepping stone between them for grassland birds, butterflies and other species. The preserve is the first property acquired by the Conservancy under the Minnesota Prairie Recovery Project and is part of the Agassiz Beach Reaches landscape. Much of the preserve is wet meadow and wet to mesic prairie. Experience the preserve by enjoying activities like hiking and birding.
Location: Northwestern Minnesota, Clay County, Spring Prairie Township
Size: 470 Acres
Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
The Spring Prairie Preserve has the unique distinction of helping close the gap between large complexes of native prairie. The property lies south of the Felton Prairie Scientific and Natural Area and north of Bluestem Prairie Scientific and Natural Area. Both Felton and Bluestem are considered vital complexes of native prairie and Spring Prairie serves as a biological stepping stone for birds, amphibians and insects between the two areas.
What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
In collaboration with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and local partners, the Conservancy will effectively restore and manage this native prairie with prescribed burns and conservation grazing.
The property was purchased under the Minnesota Prairie Recovery Project with Outdoor Heritage Funds and is open to the public for outdoor recreation including hunting, birding and hiking. This is consistent with requirements under the constitutional language that established the Outdoor Heritage Fund. The Conservancy is paying property taxes on the property.
For more information on visiting this and other Minnesota preserves, check out our Preserve Visitation Guidelines.
The area is a combination of sedge meadow and wet prairie communities. Much of the flora is native and the land is relatively free of invasive species.
Greater prairie chickens have used the land as booming ground for over 20 years and the prairie provides nesting habitat for many other grassland birds. The marbled godwit, a species of special concern in Minnesota, Wilson’s phalarope, and the endangered Baird’s sparrow all call Spring Prairie Preserve home.
Heading west on MN Hwy 10 from Hawley, MN: go 8 miles west from Hawley to MN Hwy 9.
Heading east from Moorhead, MN: head 8 miles east from Moorhead to MN Hwy 9. From MN Hwy 10 take MN Hwy 9 north three miles to CR 86. Head east on CR 86 one mile to the SW corner of the Spring Prairie preserve.