Dordt College's 20-acre tall grass prairie is located on the southeast side of campus. It extends along the Sioux Center recreation trail that winds south of campus toward East First Street. The new Kuyper apartment building overlooks this beautiful sea of grass and wildflowers.
Students majoring in the sciences (especially those in environmental studies, biology, and agriculture) are able to use the prairie as a "living laboratory" that helps them better understand this unique ecosystem.
Creating a native prairie was a dream of some on campus since Dordt purchased the land in 2002. In 2005, students in Professor Robert De Haan's Seminar on Creation Stewardship class undertook a semester-long research project to study the area and draw up a plan for such a restoration. The prairie was planted in 2008 and now boasts a diverse mix of about 80 species of wildflowers and grasses.
In the 1800s, Northwest Iowa was covered by tall grass prairie. Today, many people living in Iowa have never walked through a tall grass prairie, and most would have a hard time recognizing one if they saw it. This isn't surprising since 99.9 percent of the tall grass prairie in Iowa has been converted to other uses, generally row crops, making the native grassland one of the most endangered ecosystems on earth.
The Dordt College prairie restoration project has brought many unique and beautiful native wildflowers back to the community.