Tallgrass Prairie Center


Education at Irvine Prairie

high school students exploring a prairie with insect nets

Who can learn at Irvine Prairie?

Irvine Prairie welcomes these and other groups to explore and discover a planted prairie: 

  • Public & parochial schools
  • Homeschool
  • Youth groups
  • 4-H clubs
  • FFA groups
  • Scouts
  • Conservation groups


What can you do at Irvine Prairie?


a boy takes a picture of an insect on an adult's hand in the prairie

Irvine Prairie is an outdoor environment where people of all ages can explore and find connections among multiple disciplines. Nearly 80 acres have been planted with about 100 species of prairie seeds over five years. Mowed trails are maintained throughout the growing season. For a map, visit the Irvine Prairie Restoration and Land Management page. Starting in 2023, Irvine Prairie will be expanding to the north (across the road) and will eventually comprise over 290 acres.

Learn about what kinds of plants and animals you can expect to find. View or print a free guide to Irvine Prairie wildflowers or birds by clicking the button below:

Irvine Prairie Observation Guides




Suggested activities:

  • Free exploration and play
  • Hiking, kite-flying, sledding, cross country skiing
  • Photography, plein air painting, nature journaling
  • Observing and identifying prairie plants, insects, and birds
  • Geocaching
  • Scout merit badge work for Nature, Insect Study, Plant Science, Bird Study, and Environmental Science badges
  • Citizen science - tag monarch butterflies for Monarch Watch; report sightings on Journey North (monarchs), Bumble Bee Watch, iNaturalist
  • Special events will be announced on the Tallgrass Prairie Center Facebook page.
  • Check out the Tallgrass Prairie Center Educator Resources page for more ideas and plans for activities.


Educator Resources


Planning a visit to Irvine Prairie

  • Please read the Irvine Prairie Visitor Policy page. It has helpful information for planning your experience.
  • If you are visiting as an individual, family, or small group, please feel free to simply come out and explore.
  • Please register tours or field trips for larger groups using the Irvine Prairie Group Registration Form. This will avoid conflicts between groups and help us to accommodate requests for a portable toilet (1 week’s notice) or volunteer guide (4 weeks’ notice), if so desired.
  • For a map and directions, go to Irvine Prairie on Google Maps. Be aware that the road to the site is gravel and may not be passable in all seasons.
  • If transportation costs are keeping you from bringing your class or group to Irvine Prairie, please contact us for information about a Bus Scholarship.



For questions or more information about education at Irvine Prairie, please contact:

Laura Walter at laura.walter@uni.edu or 319-273-3005


Irvine Prairie Homepage