It’s 4 a.m. and Forsberg and I are on the road to the Crane Trust south of Wood River, Nebraska. I’ve visited the Crane Trust twice before this morning: once for a brief school-sanctioned plunge into the Platte River with my classmates sophomore year, and again a few months ago to watch Sandhill Cranes migrating […]

A young child runs through the vast Nebraska prairie. Her fingers graze the grass gently, curiously. The prairie is her playground, as she dances wildly in Denton. Here, local conservation groups restore native prairie grass through a project called the Haines Branch Prairie Corridor.  The $4.8 million project will connect existing prairie in the Haines Branch tributary […]

Mountain ranges demand our focus. Canyons tug at our gaze. Massive sunsets crowd our view. Fields of flowers catch our eye.   But what about the mountains of lichens on a twig? The canyon grooves set in bark? The gradient of color in a leaf? The fields of pollen drenching a lily?   Nearly every […]

Where Nebraska was once covered by grassland, most of the land is now used for agriculture. The loss of prairie causes problems for native species and on marginal land it can create issues with erosion and water quality. Conservationists are working to rebuild parts of the prairie in the Midwest.

The barn is dusty. And cold. It’s winter at The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) Platte River Prairies near Alda, Neb. Chris Helzer orients a group of staff and volunteers to the day’s task: mixing seed for grassland restoration.

Just to the north of my hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska, is a patch of undisturbed tallgrass prairie, one of the largest of the few remaining remnants of an ecosystem that once covered the eastern reaches of the Platte River Basin. Since 1983 this 230-acre tract has been owned by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, but university […]