Blandings Turtle
Blandings Turtle Blandings Turtle © Ryan Rasmussen

Places We Protect


Fred Maytag II Family Preserve

There are several species of turtle, like this Blandings Turtle, at this preserve.

Why You Should Visit

The site contains one of the only channel fens in Iowa. It is home to many rare plants, reptiles and amphibians, including the yellow monkey flower and the central newt. The oak woodland intergrades with a large fen creating a unique, swamp-like area.

The Fred Maytag II Family Preserve is immediately east of the town of Conesville, Iowa.


Even though the area looks like solid ground, there are many areas that are just small spongy areas of land floating on water. The Massasauga rattlesnake is found here, so watch your step when visiting. Wear appropriate footwear for a wet and muddy area or view the area from the nearby gravel road.

Be prepared to deal with mosquitoes.

Why the Conservancy Selected this Site

This area contains two globally rare communities, Swamp White Oak woodlands and Central Tallgrass Fens. The fen was formed in a large oxbow, which is a setting unique to the region and few high quality examples remain.

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing

The Conservancy has worked with adjacent land owners to create a buffer around the edge of the wetlands, allowing local turtles to nest without the threat of being tilled up as farmers plant crops. Work is beginning on savanna clearing and invasive species treatment at the preserve as well.

What to see: Plants

The yellow monkey flower, button bush and big leaved goldenrod are found at this site. This is the only known location for big-leaved goldenrod in Iowa. Numerous species unique to fens can be found here.  

What to see: Animals

Important animals to see in the Fred Maytag II site include Massasauga rattlesnakes, Blanding's turtles, many other species of turtle and the central newt. 

Preserve Visitation Guidelines