Having grown up in Iowa, the North American prairie is near and dear to my heart. Its beautiful sea of grasses blowing in the wind, majestic bison roaming freely, and prairie chickens dancing for each other take my mind directly to my childhood. Of course, the amount of rich prairie soil and prairie plants and animals were nearly a thing of the past, even when I was small. We learned about the prairie in school and by visiting national parks. We devoured books by Laura Ingalls Wilder and were glued to the television each week to watch an episode of Little House on the Prairie. While this was a wonderful part of my youth, it’s unfortunate that to truly “see” North American prairies, we have to use our mind’s eye. Most of this magnificent ecosystem is gone, with only remnants scattered through the middle of the continent; it’s estimated only about one percent of native prairie still exists. Even though this ecosystem is a shell of its former self, its beauty and value remains. And we can still enjoy exploring and learning about them!