Stinson Prairie is a 32-acre prairie located five miles west of Algona in Kossuth County. It was purchased in 1969 by the Kossuth County Conservation Board from Minnie and Emma Stinson, whose family had used the prairie as a hayfield since 1881. It was dedicated in 1971 as a biological state preserve.
The preserve is located on the edge of the Algona moraine, marking the last advance and retreat of glacial ice in Iowa about 12,500 years ago. The glacial erratics (boulders) at this preserve are characteristic of igneous and metamorphic rocks that are native to the northern United States and Canada. The prairie potholes (marshes), sedge meadows, gentle moist slopes, and dry ridge tops are characteristic of the diverse habitats that occur over short distances in hummocky, morainal landscapes. The preserve overlooks a level outwash plain to the south, where meltwater drained away from the ice front.
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