Two men walking in Daryl Smith Prairie

Image courtesy of Laura Walter

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa —  Join the Tallgrass Prairie Center and the University of Northern Iowa’s Department of Biology to celebrate 50 years of prairie at UNI. 

Daryl Smith Prairie, a part of the UNI Biological Preserves, was first seeded in 1973 and is one of the earliest reconstructed prairies in Iowa. The area is named after Daryl Smith, a professor emeritus of biology, who later founded the Native Roadside Vegetation Center now known as UNI’s Tallgrass Prairie Center.

“UNI is truly a prairie campus, all thanks to the vision of the biology department faculty 50 years ago and the support of many students and community members along the way,” said Laura Jackson, director of the Tallgrass Prairie Center and chair of the Biological Preserves Committee. “It is fitting that we celebrate this Golden Anniversary of Smith Prairie during Iowa Prairie Heritage Week, September 10-16. We hope people will come to appreciate the history and help us to envision the next 50 years.”

The celebration will be held on Saturday, Sept. 16 at Daryl Smith Prairie, 720 W. 29th St., Cedar Falls. There will be a brief presentation at 1 p.m., and drop-in activities for both adults and children will continue until 3 p.m.

Participants will be able to try out new maps of the UNI Biological Preserves and campus trails systems, watch migrating monarchs, identify native plants, take photos of bees, play prairie bingo, learn to use iNaturalist and more. This event is free and open to the public.



Adam Amdor