Surrounded by fields of sunflowers, soybeans, sugar beets and grains, Malmberg Prairie Preserve is a vivid reminder to visitors that the entire Red River Valley was, at one time, a continuous grassland, except for a few rivers and streams. This prairie never has been cultivated. The same sod that absorbed the hoof prints of the buffalo remains intact today with its native grasses. It stands alone as a lone sentinel of the region's past.
Mounds of dirt, first created by colonies of the prairie pocket gopher, sporadically break up this grassland. Today, reptiles and amphibians use these same mounds for shelter.
Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
The Nature Conservancy had a rare opportunity with Malmberg Prairie to preserve and protect this rare gem—an original prairie—for future generations.
The Conservancy believes that working in partnership with others accomplishes more than working alone. How the Conservancy learned about this prairie demonstrates the power of that philosophy. If it wasn't for the quick action of a Polk County extension agent who thought about the Conservancy when he saw this prairie, it might have been lost.
What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
College students use this preserve, which also is a scientific area, for research. Because it is an original prairie that never has been plowed, there is much we can learn from it.