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 […]

  I first became interested in photography during my senior year of high school. For as long as I can remember I’ve been interested in the outdoors, and photography seemed like the perfect outlet to express that interest to others. My parents gifted me a point-and-shoot camera as a Christmas present, and I had slowly […]

I have always been drawn to the outdoors– be it hiking in the Rockies, fishing at a lake, or socializing with neighbors on warm summer nights. I feel my best when I’m outside. Although I have always enjoyed communing with nature, I never felt compelled to study plants and animals. However, since I have begun […]

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.

It’s a foggy October morning at The Nature Conservancy’s Platte River Prairies, located in south central Nebraska.  I’m struggling to keep up with Mike Schrad as he treks through tall, shirt-soaking grasses in search of the Sherman live traps he placed the night before. Schrad picks up the first four of these small, aluminum boxes […]

On a beautiful August morning, the sun penetrated through the clouds and reflected off the mucky water as I trekked through a slough on Shoemaker Island, a wet meadow adjacent to the Platte River in central Nebraska. I followed staff and interns with the Crane Trust to check on small mammal traps that were placed […]

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 […]