Blue Heron in The Land of the Swamp White Oak
Blue Heron Blue Heron in The Land of the Swamp White Oak © Ryan Rasmussen/TNC

Places We Protect


Red Cedar Woodland

The Great Blue Heron can be found at Red Cedar Woodland.

This preserve is found on an island in the Cedar River and can only be reached by boat or by wading through water. Because of its natural seclusion, this site has been well preserved. Red-shouldered hawks enjoy the area’s excellent bottom land forest habitat.

Why You Should Visit

The Red Cedar Woodland Preserve is part of a large island on the Cedar River. It features riparian (floodplain) forest dominated by sycamore, river birch and silver maple trees. It is an excellent location to observe bald eagles.


Red Cedar Woodland is located in Muscatine County, (northeast) of the Swamp White Oak Preserve. This preserve is part of an island in the Cedar River, just north of where County Hwy G28 crosses the river.


The habitat of Red Cedar Woodland is characterized by the frequent flooding of the Cedar River, which surrounds the preserve on all sides.

Why the Conservancy Selected This Site

Red Cedar Woodland was donated to the Conservancy in 1985 by Mrs. Nellie Reis.

What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing

This site is a small part of the Iowa Chapter’s efforts to protect the watershed and unique habitats along this portion of the Cedar River.

What to See: Plants

Some of the plants native to this preserve include: American bellflower, black walnut, box elder, cottonwood, greenbrier, hackberry, hawthorn, honey locust, moonseed vine, partridge pea, pin oak, polk weed, redbud, saw-toothed sunflower, silver maple, slough grass, sycamore, Virginia creeper, Virginia wild rye, whorled milkweed and wild grape.

What to See: Animals

Animals at Red Cedar Woodland Preserve include the western painted turtle and the gray tree frog, as well as birds like the great blue heron, the red-headed woodpecker and the majestic bald eagle.

Preserve Visitation Guidelines