Guides and Publications

As part of the Center’s effort at outreach and telling the story of the prairie region we issue both regular and occasional publications, including an on-line journal, Rootstalk: A Prairie Journal of Culture, Science, and the Arts, and a variety of brochures and guides.  We also have produced or assisted in the production of two CDs.  Our faculty have published both scholarly and popular writings about various aspects of the prairie region.


Rootstalk is an on-line, multimedia, interdisciplinary journal that began publication in the spring of 2015. 

Its mission is to foster a forum for creative expression, commentary and scholarship that will stimulate thoughtful dialogue about significant issues in the prairie region of North America.

Brochures and Guides

The Center for Prairie Studies publishes a number of brochures and guides about different aspects of the prairie region, including history, food and farming, and nature.

These are available here on the website in pdf format. Printed copies are also available free of charge at the Grinnell College bookstore, the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce, or directly from the center by calling 641-269-4384 or emailing Jan Graham, the center’s program coordinator.

Guide to Prairie Sites Near Grinnell, Iowa

Publication describing the 51 prairie remnants, restorations and reconstructions near Grinnell. Accompanying the description are directions to each of the prairie sites.

Grinnell Area Local Foods Guide

Intended to promote a local food system. It provides a listing of area producers and the food they market locally as well as a listing of regional farmer's markets.

A Beginner's Guide to Wild Edible Plants in the Grinnell Area

Provides information about twenty one wild plants growing in the Grinnell area which can be used for food, beverages or medicine.

Beginner's Field Guide to Grinnell and Its Environs

Provides information on many aspects of Grinnell. The booklet includes history of Grinnell, architectural highlights, information about Iowa agriculture, and things to see and do.

Our Trees, A Guide to Trees in Grinnell

An updated and annotated edition of Henry S. Conard's Our Trees published in 1927.

Nature Preserves Near Grinnell

Nature Preserves Near Grinnell is a 60-page, full color guide which provides a detailed introduction to five diverse natural areas within 15 miles of Grinnell. Russ Tabbert, nature enthusiast from Grinnell, authored the text for this guide which provides information about the natural features of these areas. Each section includes several images of plants and animals found at each preserve. A commentary on conservation efforts is also included.

Title Page

Table of Contents

Preserve Location Map


Appendix A: Scientific Names of Plants Referenced in Text

Appendix B: Image Credits

Conard Environmental Research Area

Jacob Krumm Nature Preserve

Reichelt Unit of Rock Creek State Park

Rock Creek State Park

Sugar Creek Audubon Nature Sanctuary

Wildlife Checklist

Center for Prairie Studies Video

The Center for Prairie Studies has released a multimedia video production, Prairie Through the Seasons. The 27-minute video features photographs by several local photographers, narration by Sandy and Betty Moffett, and music by Jonathan Chenette. The changes of seasons on the prairie happen so gradually, yet are so distinct. From May to October prairie blooms color the landscape with all of the colors of the rainbow. But even after the first heavy frost brings an end to the flowering, the prairie presents a lovely canvas in the russet hues of fall or decorated with winter snow. This video captures the beauty in each of the seasons on the prairie.

Collaborative Publications

The Center collaborated in the publication of: Roots of Renewal: An Exhibition and Community Partnership (2003). Picturing Grinnell: A Look at an Iowa Town in Its 150th Year (2004). In 2005, the Center for Prairie Studies collaborated with the Iowa Valley Resource Conservation & Development office, Free River Press, and author and publisher Robert Wolf to create The Iowa River Corridor Book: A Subregional Profile from the Amanas to Tama and Toledo. The publication, based on the premise that economic and cultural regionalism offer an alternative to globalization, explores the Iowa River corridor through short essays (many written by Grinnell College students and faculty), photographs (most of them taken by high school students from corridor communities), and an assessment of community assets and needs.