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Don't Miss Free, Family-Friendly Loess Hills Prairie Seminar Coming Up June 3rd-5th!

Families are invited to explore, learn, and relax in the heart of the Loess Hills.

Families are invited to join local conservation leaders for a free weekend full of fun outdoor education during the 45th Annual Loess Hills Prairie Seminar at various locations in Monona County, IA.

Activities and workshops include a guided bike tour of the Loess Hills, archery, atlatl throwing, birding for all ages, geocaching, kayaking, prairie photography, a nature scavenger hunt for kids, and presentations about wildlife and plants of the Loess Hills and local conservation efforts.

The Loess Hills are a unique landform created by windblown soil deposits during the last ice age and are one of the last strongholds for remnant prairie in the state of Iowa, of which less than .1% remains. Known for reaching heights of 200 feet, the Loess Hills can be found in just two places in the entire world: along the southwestern edge of Iowa and in north-central China.

The general schedule for this event is as follows:

  • Friday, June 3rd from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Pre-seminar land restoration volunteer activity with the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and The Nature Conservancy
  • Friday, June 3rd from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.: Registration, children’s activities, welcome, and keynote speakers
  • Saturday, June 4th from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.: Breakout sessions, children’s activities, keynote speakers
  • Sunday, June 5th from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.: Breakout sessions, special speakers

Locations include:

Loess Hills Wildlife Management Area (Loess Hills Prairie Seminar Campsite)

178th Street and Oak Avenue | Castana, IA 51010

Monona County Conservation Building/Arboretum

318 E. Iowa Avenue | Onawa, IA 51040

Onawa Community Center

320 10th Street | Onawa, IA 51040

Reese Homestead (location for pre-seminar land restoration activity)

22133 Larpenteur Memorial Road | Turin, IA 51040


Registration is not required and this event is free and open to the public. Participants may pre-order meals on the seminar website by May 25th if they wish. Free primitive camping is available.

For a full schedule of events, locations, and to learn more, please visit


"Getting people; getting children acquainted with what's out here will make people concerned about what is happening here. If we get acquainted with natural communities we feel at home. Any place we feel at home, we feel like protecting."

— Sylvan Runkel, whom the Sylvan Runkel Nature Preserve (Loess Hills Wildlife Management Area) in Turin is named after.

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