The Conard Environmental Research Area - known informally as CERA or the bio preserve - is primarily a protected facility for class use in the study of ecology and student and faculty research. It is located eleven miles from the Grinnell College campus. The rich floristic and faunistic diversity of CERA provides both a varied ecosystem for research and an invaluable center for the dispersal of hundreds of plant and animal species.
The college encourages use of the area for the types of recreation that it uniquely provides and that are compatible with its purpose and philosophy. It is available for hiking, bird watching, photography, painting, drawing, and other facets of the study and enjoyment of nature. It is not available for recreation that either can be provided elsewhere or is incompatible with CERA's long-term purpose.