Natural Assets: Prairies, Cranes and More
One can find many nature preserves, parks, and other protected natural areas within a short drive from Lincoln. These areas offer visitors a chance to experience aspects of the tallgrass prairie and related ecosystems as they were before European settlement.
The Audubon Society operates Spring Creek Prairie in Denton, and UNL maintains 9-Mile Prairie for science research purposes.
For longer trips to nature preserves, check out the Nature Conservancy Nebraska website, which offers directions to and information on the many preserves operated throughout the state by the worldwide conservation organization.
The local Wachiska Audubon chapter offers field trips and other involvement for ecology enthusiasts and they maintain an extensive array of restored prairie sites.
The Nebraska Crane Festival celebrates the yearly stopover of the sandhill cranes on the Platte River during their migration--one of the world's great wildlife spectacles--organizing field trips and seminars on all things crane-related.
The Rowe Audubon Sanctuary is the perfect place to watch the migration and it maintains Crane Cam, a webcam documenting the arrival of the cranes.
The Prairie Plains Resource Institute is based in Aurora and seeks to provide opportunities for the public to interact with the landscape through the many educational events that they host, including the SOAR (Summer Orientation About Rivers) program for kids.