The Prairie Builders: Reconstructing America's Lost Grasslands

by Sneed B. Collard, III Part of the Scientists in the Field Series

“By the early 1900s, more than 96 percent of America’s tallgrass prairie... read more

“By the early 1900s, more than 96 percent of America’s tallgrass prairie had been turned into farms and grazing lands.” Sneed B. Collard III documents efforts to reclaim a piece of America’s lost landscape as he describes the work to restore tallgrass prairie on the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa. The comprehensive project has involved the work of scientists, rangers, and numerous volunteers who have all worked to establish and maintain the ecosystem that now supports many prairie flora and fauna. Collard’s highly readable narrative is focused around the work of two specific scientists: biologist Pauline Drobney, who manages the prairie project, and Diane Debinski, who saw the project as a chance to try to bring the rare Regal Fritillary butterfly back to Iowa. Collard’s captivating pictures show the restoration work in progress and also capture the sweeping beauty of the prairie lands. (Ages 7–10)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2006

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