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Fourth Graders Learn About Prairie Life

Jordan Creek fourth graders recently enjoyed a day at Red Feather Prairie by Saylorville Lake. The naturalists from Polk County Conservation led the group in a variety of activities to teach students about the plants and animals found on the prairie, and how the Native Americans and early pioneers experienced prairie life. They saw first-hand some of the most common prairie grasses in Iowa, Big Blue Stem and Indian Grass. They enjoyed going on an insect hunt and playing the Thicket Game. Fourth graders also learned about animals that live on the prairie, including animals that no longer live in Iowa, such as the bison and wolf. They learned how the Native Americans used every part of the bison, even the buffalo “chips.” One of the favorite activities was working with a small group to build a tipi, and then sitting inside an actual tipi. Even though Red Feather Prairie is small, 173 acres, it gave us a good idea of how Iowa once looked when our state was once part of the Tall Grass Prairie.

Polk County Naturalist Patrice Petersen-Keys shows Jordan Creek fourth graders a wolf skin during a recent trip to Red Feather Prairie.

Polk County Naturalist Patrice Petersen-Keys shows Jordan Creek fourth graders a wolf skin during a recent trip to Red Feather Prairie.

Jordan Creek fourth graders Grayson Earle, Mallory Kitt, Jacey Jones, Maddy Baumann, Ryan Kuennen, and Ryan Foust enjoy a trip to Red Feather Prairie, learning about plants and animals found on the prairie.

Jordan Creek fourth graders Grayson Earle, Mallory Kitt, Jacey Jones, Maddy Baumann, Ryan Kuennen, and Ryan Foust enjoy a trip to Red Feather Prairie, learning about plants and animals found on the prairie.

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