- The refuge occupies over 44 percent of the Walnut Creek watershed. The goals are to provide a major environmental education effort using the restoration of the tallgrass prairie oak savanna ecosystem as a cornerstone.
The restoration knowledge gained here will be monitored and transferable to other ecosystem restoration projects. The Prairie Learning Center, located 18 miles east of Des Moines, features state of the art interpretive and education programs and facilities.
A herd of bison has been reintroduced to the refuge to demonstrate the natural role of large, native grazers in ecosystem reconstruction.