This preserve is one of several remnant prairie communities persisting along cliff edges, narrow ridges, and forest openings on unglaciated Cedarville dolomite. These dry-adapted prairie communities are thought to predate white settlement and are considered climax communities, originating in the region during conditions that prevailed 6,000 - 8,000 yeas ago.
Pike and Adams Counties, within the Interior Low Plateau Ecoregion.
A total of 30 rare plant species, including:
- Glade (or Darlington's) spurge
- Some of the state's finest examples of little bluestem prairie, a globally rare plant community
- Indian grass
- Side-oats grama
- Warty panic grass
- Wolf's bluegrass
- Glade spurge
- Spiked lobelia
- Hoary puccoon
- Nodding onion
- Indian paintbrush
- Purple coneflower
- Obedient plant
- Eastern hognose snake
- Rough green snake
- Sand locust
- Eastern box turtle
Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
This site contains 30 rare plant species and a globally rare little bluestem prairie community. Dolomite bluffs overlooking Strait Creek also harbor several rare plants.
Subdivision of adjacent properties threatens to further reduce the size of the prairie community outside the preserve. Unauthorized use of the preserve by off-road vehicles disturbs prairie habitat and creates favorable conditions for the establishment of non-native weedy plants which can eventually displace the native prairie vegetation.
What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
The overall ecological goal for this preserve is to restore the little bluestem prairie community and surrounding chinquapin oak woodlands by controlling invasive and non-native plant species, and to expand the preserve as opportunities permit, to encompass more of the contiguous prairie ecosystem. Read an update.
To this end the Conservancy and the Highlands Nature Sanctuary co-hosted an Americorps team which cleared trail, constructed fire breaks, cut red cedars, removed and burned brush, and cut and stacked fence posts.