8–10 p.m., Fri., Sept. 6, Conard Environmental Research Area
Rain date: Sat., Sept. 7. Call 641-269-4384 for rain-call information.

Experience the allure and beauty of the prairie after the sun sets as you explore the College’s Conard Environmental Research Area (CERA). Transportation from campus is available.

This family-friendly event is open to the public. Activities include:

  • An exhibition of several live raptors, including information on the owls of the prairie, their habitat, and conservation, and the release of two recently rehabilitated Eastern screech owls;
  • an exploration of nighttime invertebrates such as beetles and moths, using UV lights and moth bait to attract insects;
  • an introduction to the evening songs of cicadas, katydids, crickets, and grasshoppers;
  • lessons on exploring the night sky and constellations, stars, and planets;
  • poetry portraying nightfall on the prairie; and
  • a chance to explore the prairie.

Bring binoculars, flashlights, and headlamps if you have them. 

CERA is a 365-acre preserve used for teaching, research, hiking, bird watching, photography, painting, drawing, and other facets of the study and enjoyment of nature. It contains woodlands, oak savanna, restored prairie, and wetlands, as well as the Environmental Education Center, the first building in Iowa to receive a gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program.

If you choose to drive yourself, parking couriers will help you find your way. Call the Center for Prairie Studies at 641-269-4384 to reserve a place on the bus.  The bus will leave from the Joe Rosenfield ’25 Center at 7:30 p.m. and will return to campus by 10:30 p.m. 

In case of rain, Nightfall on the Prairie will be held on Saturday, September 7. If the weather is questionable, please call 269-4384 on Friday evening to confirm which evening the event will be held.

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