The Turnbull Prairie (honoring John Turnbull, longtime NRD Manager of the Upper Big Blue NRD) is just under two acres of native tall grass prairie located at the Upper Big Blue NRD headquarters in York. Turnbull appreciated native plant species for their beauty and heartiness, as well as their fitness for Nebraska’s climate. The Turnbull Prairie serves as an educational space for homeowners looking to seed native plants on their properties.
The development of prairies is fascinating to watch. Each year, different species appear depending on climate and seed production from prior years. The Turnbull Prairie was established in 2016 when the NRD office building was completed. It is comprised of switchgrass, Indiangrass, big bluestem, and buffalograss. Below is some information about the native species at Turnbull Prairie. Homeowners are encouraged to walk through the prairie to view the different species and observe their growth habits. If you have questions about establishing native plant species in on your property, contact the NRD office and ask for Kyle Yrkoski.
Native grasslands are one of the most important ecosystems in Nebraska. They provide habitat for a wide variety of wildlife, help to filter water, and store carbon. However, native grasslands are disappearing at an alarming rate. In fact, only about 1% of Nebraska's native grasslands remain today. Native grasslands are an important part of Nebraska's heritage as well as ecosystem. Adding native grasses and plants to your home's landscaping, lawn, and garden is a great way to boost these species and support the many ecosystem services that they provide.