Welcome to UNI's Biological Preserves

Natural habitat on the UNI campus serves students and the community

The University of Northern Iowa Biological Preserves System is an 88-acre complex of prairie, riparian woodlands and upland forest, open to the public year round. The system includes 5.8 miles of regularly maintained trails, connecting the Preserves with other naturalized areas on the south side of the UNI campus, along Dry Run Creek. UNI students use the Preserves in a variety of courses, especially Biology and Environmental Resource Management majors.


2023 marks 50 years of prairie restoration at UNI!

Saturday Sept. 16, 2023, 1-3 p.m. Daryl Smith Prairie, 720 W. 29th St. Cedar Falls, Iowa

student selfie with monarch butterfly
A class project during the pandemic brought stress relief

Students Reflect on the Annual Monarch Count

“One of the things that surprised me was how relaxing it was to be out in the prairie. This gave me a chance to escape for a little bit."

“An interesting take away is the serenity ... You can sit back and enjoy the sounds of nature."

"I saw 3 huge praying mantises just climbing up the prairie grass. Spending time in the prairies made me think about how lucky UNI is to have valuable areas like this."