Spring Prairie Preserve






The Nature Conservancy logo




The Nature Conservancy




The 470 acres is three quarter-sections of prairie that, until 2010, was grazed by cattle. It contains wet prairie, mesic prairie, sedge meadow, and marsh. Decades of grazing has changed the mix of plants on this preserve. Some legumes and other plants normally found on native prairies in this part of the state are absent here. On the other hand, it is relatively free of invasive species. The southeast section is wet prairie and wet seepage prairie. The other two sections are a mix of wet prairie, mesic prairie, cattail marsh, and sedge meadow.




Spring Prairie Preserve was acquired by The Nature Conservancy in August, 2010, under the Minnesota Prairie Recovery Project. Funding was provided by Minnesota’s Outdoor Heritage Fund.














Printable Map(s) with GPS coordinates

  Printable map      



470 acres




There is a parking lot for this preserve on the north side of County Road 86 (43rd Ave. N.).

N46 55.203, W96 28.320


Driving Directions

  Area and County  

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          Clay County  
          Northwest Minnesota  

Hiking Trails


No maintained trails




All hunting. See Hunting and Trapping Regulations (MN DNR) for details.


Ecological Classification

  Ecological Classification  
  Ecological Province    

Prairie Parkland Province

  Ecological Section    

Red River Valley

  Ecological Subsection    

Red River Prairie

  Land Type Association    

Barnesville Beach Complex

Felton Lake Plain


Native Plant Communities*


Wet Prairie (Northern)

Wet Seepage Prairie (Northern)

  * Source: The Minnesota Biological Survey, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Division of Ecological Resources      

Natural Features








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    Spring Prairie Preserve   Spring Prairie Preserve  

The Nature Conservancy Sign

    Spring Prairie Preserve      

Wet Seepage Prairie (Northern)

    Spring Prairie Preserve   Spring Prairie Preserve  
    Spring Prairie Preserve      

Wet Prairie (Northern)

    Spring Prairie Preserve      






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Other Videos
  MN Prairie Chicken
Sabin Adams

Jul 25, 2013

Hen Greater Prairie Chicken attempting to lure me away from her chicks at The Nature Conservancies Spring Prairie Preserve near Glyndon Minnesota.




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  northern leopard frog (Rana pipiens)   northern leopard frog  



Ten bird species with conservation status in Minnesota have been seen here:


Baird’s Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii)

Henslow’s Sparrow (Centronyx henslowii)


Wilson’s Phalarope (Phalaropus tricolor)

Special Concern

American White Pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos)

Greater Prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus cupido)

Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa)

Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)

Purple Martin (Progne subis)

Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus)

Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator)


eBird Field Checklist


Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater)

Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus)

Greater Prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus cupido)

Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus)

Lark Sparrow (Chondestes grammacus)

Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)

Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)

Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda)


Barn Swallow

Mourning Dove


Insects and Arachnids


One insect and arachnid species with conservation status in Minnesota have been seen here:

Special Concern

regal fritillary (Argynnis idalia)


band-winged meadowhawk (Sympetrum semicinctum)

blue orchard bee (Osmia lignaria lignaria)

common green darner (Anax junius)

common wood nymph (Cercyonis pegala)

dog day cicada (Neotibicen canicularis)

goldenrod bunch gall midge (Rhopalomyia solidaginis)

goldenrod gall fly (Eurosta solidaginis)

goldenrod soldier beetle (Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus)

great spangled fritillary (Argynnis cybele)

monarch (Danaus plexippus)

regal fritillary (Argynnis idalia)


dog day cicada

goldenrod gall fly

regal fritillary




thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus)

whitetail deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

  whitetail deer  



Three plant species with conservation status in Minnesota are found here:


sterile sedge (Carex sterilis)

Sullivant’s milkweed (Asclepias sullivantii)

Special Concern

northern gentian (Gentianella amarella ssp. acuta)


Minnesota Biodiversity Atlas and Minnesota Biological Survey Vegetation Releves Plant List


Plants frequently found in:

Wet Prairie (Northern) WPn53c

Wet Seepage Prairie (Northern) WPn53a



absinthe wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)

alkali buttercup (Ranunculus cymbalaria)

alsike clover (Trifolium hybridum)

American bugleweed (Lycopus americanus)

American germander (Teucrium canadense)

big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi)

black medick (Medicago lupulina)

black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima)

black-seeded plantain (Plantago rugelii var. rugelii)

bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare)

Canada anemone (Anemonastrum canadense)

Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense)

Canadian horseweed (Erigeron canadensis)

common boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum var. perfoliatum)

common dandelion (Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale)

common lambsquarters (Chenopodium album)

common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

common panicled aster (Symphyotrichum lanceolatum var. lanceolatum)

common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia)

common yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

curly dock (Rumex crispus)

Flodman’s thistle (Cirsium flodmanii)

foxtail barley (Hordeum jubatum ssp. jubatum)

fringed brome (Bromus ciliatus)

fringed loosestrife (Lysimachia ciliata)

giant goldenrod (Solidago gigantea)

giant sumpweed (Cyclachaena xanthiifolia)

giant sunflower (Helianthus giganteus)

golden alexanders (Zizia aurea)

grass-leaved goldenrod (Euthamia graminifolia)

green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)

heart-leaved golden alexanders (Zizia aptera)

Indian hemp (Apocynum cannabinum)

Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans)

Kalm’s lobelia (Lobelia kalmii)

leafy spurge (Euphorbia virgata)

little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium)

marsh hedge nettle (Stachys palustris)

Maximilian’s sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani)

Missouri goldenrod (Solidago missouriensis)

narrow-leaved cattail (Typha angustifolia)

palespike lobelia (Lobelia spicata)

perennial sow thistle (Sonchus arvensis)

plains cottonwood (Populus deltoides ssp. molinifera)

plumeless thistle (Carduus acanthoides ssp. acanthoides)

prairie blazing star (Liatris pycnostachya var. pycnostachya)

prairie cordgrass (Sporobolus michauxianus)

prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis)

prairie goldenrod (Solidago ptarmicoides)

prairie rose (Rosa arkansana)

prickly lettuce (Lactuca serriola)

purple lovegrass (Eragrostis spectabilis)

purple meadow-rue (Thalictrum dasycarpum)

purple rattlesnake root (Nabalus racemosus)

quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides)

red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea ssp. sericea)

redroot amaranth (Amaranthus retroflexus)

rough blazing star (Liatris aspera)

rough bugleweed (Lycopus asper)

sage-leaved willow (Salix candida)

sandbar willow (Salix interior)

seaside arrowgrass (Triglochin maritima)

showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa)

Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila)

silverweed (Argentina anserina ssp. anserina)

smooth scouring rush (Equisetum laevigatum)

soft-stem bulrush (Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani)

spotted Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium maculatum)

spotted lady’s thumb (Persicaria maculosa)

spotted water hemlock (Cicuta maculata)

stiff goldenrod (Solidago rigida ssp. rigida)

Sullivant’s milkweed (Asclepias sullivantii)

swamp betony (Pedicularis lanceolata)

swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata ssp. incarnata)

swamp thistle (Cirsium muticum)

Virginia mountain mint (Pycnanthemum virginianum)

western ironweed (Vernonia fasciculata ssp. corymbosa)

western ragweed (Ambrosia psilostachya)

white clover (Trifolium repens ssp. repens)

white sweet clover (Melilotus albus)

whitecrack willow (Salix × rubens)

wild cucumber (Echinocystis lobata)

wild mint (Mentha arvensis)

wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana)

wingstem (Verbesina alternifolia)

yellow marsh marigold (Caltha palustris var. palustris)


Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)

Amaranthus retroflexus (redroot amaranth)

Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed)

Ambrosia psilostachya (western ragweed)

Andropogon gerardi (big bluestem)

Anemonastrum canadense (Canada anemone)

Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp)

Argentina anserina ssp. anserina (silverweed)

Artemisia absinthium (absinthe wormwood)

Asclepias incarnata ssp. incarnata (swamp milkweed)

Asclepias speciosa (showy milkweed)

Asclepias sullivantii (Sullivant’s milkweed)

Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)

Bromus ciliatus (fringed brome)

Caltha palustris var. palustris (yellow marsh marigold)

Carduus acanthoides (plumeless thistle)

Chenopodium album (common lambsquarters)

Cicuta maculata (spotted water hemlock)

Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)

Cirsium flodmanii (Flodman’s thistle)

Cirsium muticum (swamp thistle)

Cirsium vulgare (bull thistle)

Cornus sericea ssp. sericea (red osier dogwood)

Cyclachaena xanthiifolia (giant sumpweed)

Echinocystis lobata (wild cucumber)

Equisetum laevigatum (smooth scouring rush)

Eragrostis spectabilis (purple lovegrass)

Erigeron canadensis (Canadian horseweed)

Eupatorium perfoliatum var. perfoliatum (common boneset)

Euphorbia virgata (leafy spurge)

Euthamia graminifolia (grass-leaved goldenrod)

Eutrochium maculatum (spotted Joe Pye weed)

Fragaria virginiana (wild strawberry)

Fraxinus pennsylvanica (green ash)

Helianthus giganteus (giant sunflower)

Helianthus maximiliani (Maximilian’s sunflower)

Hordeum jubatum ssp. jubatum (foxtail barley)

Lactuca serriola (prickly lettuce)

Liatris aspera (rough blazing star)

Liatris pycnostachya var. pycnostachya (prairie blazing star)

Lobelia kalmii (Kalm’s lobelia)

Lobelia spicata (palespike lobelia)

Lycopus americanus (American bugleweed)

Lycopus asper (rough bugleweed)

Lysimachia ciliata (fringed loosestrife)

Medicago lupulina (black medick)

Melilotus albus (white sweet clover)

Mentha arvensis (wild mint)

Nabalus racemosus (purple rattlesnake root)

Pedicularis lanceolata (swamp betony)

Persicaria maculosa (spotted lady’s thumb)

Plantago rugelii var. rugelii (black-seeded plantain)

Populus deltoides ssp. molinifera (plains cottonwood)

Populus tremuloides (quaking aspen)

Pycnanthemum virginianum (Virginia mountain mint)

Ranunculus cymbalaria (alkali buttercup)

Rosa arkansana (prairie rose)

Rudbeckia hirta var. pulcherrima (black-eyed Susan)

Rumex crispus (curly dock)

Salix candida (sage-leaved willow)

Salix interior (sandbar willow)

Salix × rubens (whitecrack willow)

Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)

Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani (soft-stem bulrush)

Solidago gigantea (giant goldenrod)

Solidago missouriensis (Missouri goldenrod)

Solidago ptarmicoides (prairie goldenrod)

Solidago rigida ssp. rigida (stiff goldenrod)

Sonchus arvensis (perennial sow thistle)

Sorghastrum nutans (Indiangrass)

Sporobolus heterolepis (prairie dropseed)

Sporobolus michauxianus (prairie cordgrass)

Stachys palustris (marsh hedge nettle)

Symphyotrichum lanceolatum var. lanceolatum (common panicled aster)

Taraxacum officinale ssp. officinale (common dandelion)

Teucrium canadense (American germander)

Thalictrum dasycarpum (purple meadow-rue)

Trifolium hybridum (alsike clover)

Trifolium repens ssp. repens (white clover)

Triglochin maritima (seaside arrowgrass)

Typha angustifolia (narrow-leaved cattail)

Ulmus pumila (Siberian elm)

Verbesina alternifolia (wingstem)

Vernonia fasciculata ssp. corymbosa (western ironweed)

Zizia aptera (heart-leaved golden alexanders)

Zizia aurea (golden alexanders)


alsike clover

black-eyed Susan

bull thistle

Canada anemone

common boneset

common yarrow

perennial sow thistle

fringed loosestrife

golden alexanders

Maximilian’s sunflower

palespike lobelia (var. spicata)

prairie cordgrass

prairie rose

purple rattlesnake root

red osier dogwood

rough bugleweed

spotted Joe Pye weed

Sullivant’s milkweed

swamp milkweed

swamp thistle

Virginia mountain mint

white clover

wild mint

yellow marsh marigold








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