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Mission and Goals


Our mission is to preserve and, through restoration, recreate a part of Iowa's vanishing natural heritage, providing a resource for the entire college, local schools, environmental groups, clubs, and the general public.


Visit or Volunteer

CERA reaches the community beyond Grinnell College to actively engage local public school children and learners of all ages in studying all facets of prairie life. Tours are provided each year for Grinnell alumni, visiting scholars, perspective students and faculty, K-12 students in local schools, conservation organizations, and the general public. The lab facility also conducts field-based workshops open to the public.

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Conard Environmental Research Area

The Conard Environmental Research Area, located eleven miles from the Grinnell College Campus, is a 365-acre field station used for class field trips, student and faculty research, and quiet enjoyment. CERA is an exceptional resource for engaging students in environmental inquiry, providing inspiration and raw materials for artistic expression, teachings students and community members of all ages about the history and character of our past, present, and future landscape, and serving as a model for land preservation and ecological restoration.