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Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, IA

Fish and Wildlife Service

Overview

Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, located just 25 minutes east of Des Moines, Iowa, was established in 1990. Its mission is to re-construct tallgrass prairie and restore oak savanna on 8,654 acres of the Walnut Creek watershed and to provide a major environmental education facility focusing on prairie, oak savanna, and human interaction. The refuge has been designated a Fish and Wildlife Service Land Management and Research Demonstration Area. It will facilitate development, testing, teaching, publishing, and demonstration of state-of-the-art management techniques for fish, wildlife, and plant conservation. The Prairie Learning Center facilities include a visitor center with classrooms, exhibit area, theater, and bookstore. Miles of paved trails radiate from the center, and an auto tour through the 740-acre bison/elk enclosure is open all year. Teacher workshops, birding, hunting, and nature watching are some of the outdoor activities featured for thousands of visitors each year.

Recreational Activities:

  • AUTO TOURING
  • HIKING
  • HUNTING
  • INTERPRETIVE PROGRAMS
  • VISITOR CENTER
  • WILDLIFE VIEWING

Address:

9981 Pacific Street
Prairie City,IA,50228
Phone: 515-994-3400
Email: nealsmith@fws.gov

Directions:

The refuge is located 18 miles east of Des Moines, Iowa, on State Highway 163. Follow the refuge directional signs just south of Prairie City at exit 18. Travelers on Interstate I-80 should use exit number 155 at Colfax and follow directional signs approximately 7 miles south on Highway 117 to the refuge.

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Learn more about us, or about any of our agency partners below:
Bureau of Land Management Federal Highway Administration National Oceanic Atmosphere Administration Smithsonian Institution USDA Forest Service US Army Corps of Engineers US Fish and Wildlife Service National Park Service Bureau of Engraving and Printing Tennessee Valley Authority Bureau of Reclamation National Archives Records Administration

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