Protected Prairie

What used to be a hill covered in briar patches is now Briar Cliff University, surrounded by 150 acres of protected tallgrass prairie - the nation's largest native prairie in an urban setting. Due to rapid expansion in the Siouxland area, The Nature Conservancy has made an effort to preserve and protect this area since 1983. This prairie isn't only a breathtaking view from Briar Cliff, but a beautiful habitat that is home to a variety of plants, animals, birds, and prairie butterflies.


Look around! This incredible grassland prairie surrounds Briar Cliff and can be admired from so many locations on campus. Entry to the prairie can be found from the southwest corner of Briar Cliff's campus next to the McCoy Arnold Center.

To help navigate your way to the protected prairie, please use a map of our campus.

Available to the Public

The prairie are open to the public, as long as patrons stick to our standard campus rules for behavior (no drugs or alcohol). For other rules, see the Briar Cliff student handbook.