Ames High Prairie State Preserve

Ames High School, 1921 Ames High Dr.
Ames, IA 50010


The Richard W. Pohl Memorial Preserve at Ames High Prairie (popularly known more simply as “Ames High Prairie”) is a 22-acre preserve containing a small tallgrass prairie remnant. It is located on the west side of Ames High School within the city limits of Ames in Story County. The land was originally purchased by the school district in 1956 for use as a parking lot. In 1971, however, it was established as an environmental education area as the result of a popular vote in Ames. The property is presently leased by the Ames Unified School District to the Iowa chapter of The Nature Conservancy. It was dedicated as a biological state preserve in 1997. Located in the Des Moines Lobe landform region, the preserve consists of tallgrass prairie and ravine woodland along Squaw Creek, a tributary of the Skunk River. Most of the prairie in the preserve occurs on relatively dry ridges and slopes. A small wooded stream flows through the preserve. Years ago, the prairie and the surrounding woodland were heavily grazed. The hilltop prairie near the entrance was once used for the storage of heavy equipment.

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