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|Prairie & Preserves|
Like islands in the middle of a lake provide rest areas for traveling wildlife, the preserves and refuges of the Butler County Conservation Board provide islands of wildlife habitat within the agricultural ocean of Iowa.
As refuges and preserves, these areas are closed to hunting, trapping, and other consumptive uses. They do provide excellent opportunities to see native grasses, flowers, and unique wildlife up close.
We ask that as you wander through our refuges and preserves, you to treat them with respect. And always remember the quote from an unknown source, "Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints."
The Butler County Conservation Board
Wolter's Prairie Preserve
In 1984, captured by the beautiful wildflowers found there, the Butler County Conservation Board purchased the first half of this 40-acre native prairie area from John Wolter's. In 1990 the local chapter of Pheasants Forever purchased the remaining 20 acres on behalf of the Conservation Board. The result is a well-preserved island of native grasses and forbs that represent Iowa's past. Today this native prairie is used to teach about the natural and cultural history of Iowa.
Leeper's Prairie Preserve
Donated to the county by Doris Leeper in memory of her late husband, this 41-acre prairie area is a remnant of what once covered most of Iowa. Management of the area is limited to tree removal and periodic spring burning. These practices will help to insure that the many prairie plants found there will continue to thrive and endure.
Kyle Wildlife Area
Donated by Joseph B. Kyle as a wildlife refuge, this 19-acre area provides excellent winter habitat for a wide array of wildlife including pheasants, deer, and songbirds. In 1999 work was done on the waterway passing through the area to provide better drainage for the surrounding farms. The redevelopment of this waterway should promote a greater abundance of aquatic oriented furbearers in the area.
Hauser's Wildlife Area
Diversity is one word that describes this 25 acre refuge. Located along a small tributary of the Shell Rock River called Beaver Creek this refuge provides a combination of aquatic, forest, and upland habitats that support a wide variety of species.
Former Conservation Board Member, Herman Faber donated this 27.5-acre wildlife refuge to the BCCB in 1997. The main use of the area is as a wildlife refuge. Tree plantings, a food plot and a wetland developed in 2003 have helped make this area a wildlife haven.
Shell Rock Wildlife Area
Adjacent to the Shell Rock Recreation area is the Shell Rock Wildlife Area. This 49-acre area of floodplain forest is home to waterfowl, beaver, deer, and a variety of non-game wildlife.
Skillen's Corner Habitat Demonstration Area
Located at the intersections of C13 and T24 is the Skillen's Corner Demonstration Area. Designed as a teaching area, the Butler County Conservation Board Staff has planted trees, shrubs, and prairie grasses to demonstrate how good planning and proper maintenance can help enhance wildlife habitat.
Paul Shoeman Nature Area
The newest of our preserve areas, the Paul Shoeman Nature Area is located just west of New Hartford on Highway 57. A re-established prarie, wetland, and tree planting make this 28.5 acre area and excellent place to see a variety of wildlife. Mowed hiking trails through the area make it easy for most people to hike through the area.