Big Bluestem

If you have been driving around lately, you have probably noticed a color change on some of our prairies and even in some ditches.  These grassy areas are now appearing to have a blue or purple color.  Big Bluestem is the reason for the color and is one of Iowa’s native prairie grasses.

Big Bluestem can grow 6′ to 8′ tall.  This grass is a favorite to grazing livestock and wildlife, giving it a nickname of “ice cream grass.”  Another common nickname for this grass is “turkey foot” because of the appearance of the flowering head typically having three stalks similar to the toes of a turkey.  Not only do mammalian herbivores enjoy this plant, but many insects, including caterpillars of a variety of skippers, and grasshoppers also feast off of Big Blue.  This native grass also serves as cover for many songbirds.

Big Bluestem grows tall in height above the ground, but like many of our prairie plants, the roots can grow downwards of 10 feet!  These long roots help with the stabilization of the soil, making Big Bluestem an important grass on the prairie.



Lost Island Trail Improvements

This summer the Lost Island Trail was extended and now provides two miles of paved surface for joggers, walkers, and bicyclists.  People are getting out more and enjoying the expanded trail along Lost Island Lake.

A bike fix-it station and bench was also added to the trail near Lost Island Prairie Wetland Nature Center.  The bike fix-it station has a tire pump area, as well as a tower with a lift and tools to help repair a bike that may break down on the trail.  Pictured are the Degen and Danielson families using the bike fix-it station this summer to tune up their bikes for a morning trail ride.

Explore nature on the Lost Island Trail!

Our Amazing Campground Hosts

Every summer Bill and Tammy Horst welcome campers as hosts for the campground at Huston Park near Lost Island Lake.  They have been campground hosts for at least eight years.

Bill and Tammy have a love for nature and the outdoors that they share with guests to our campground.  We appreciate all that Bill and Tammy do for us at Huston Park Campground.

Thank you, Bill and Tammy!

Musical Patio

Sounds around the Lost Island Nature Center have become livelier lately with the addition of the Musical Patio.  Kids of all ages enjoy making music with the outdoor percussion instruments added to the patio near the nature center.

Lost Island Huston Park Campground

The Lost Island – Huston Park Campground has been updated to electrical and water sites, along with adding a playground.  We hope you plan to come and camp this spring and enjoy the new amenities.  Huston Park also has walking trails, a boat ramp, a swimming beach, three docks, a fish cleaning station, and three fishing accesses on Lost Island Lake.  Don’t forget to visit the Lost Island Nature Center too.