Mission & History

Our Mission

We connect people and prairies. Through prairie restoration, education and our eight prairie preserves, we provide opportunities to create lifelong connections with the land.


Grasslands are one of the most under-protected ecosystems in the world. Prairie Plains Resource Institute, founded in Aurora, Nebraska, in 1980, preserves, maintains and restores native grasslands and wetlands on its own land and on other private and public lands. These conservation sites provide important wildlife habitat, improve air, water and soil quality and are used for community education, recreation and sustainable economic development.

Prairie Plains is a non-profit membership organization that depends on the contributions of its members to fulfill an important mission. That mission is being carried out through four major efforts:

As an educational land trust, our goal is to relate all aspects of our programs to education and service to people. These activities are carried out by a dedicated staff and numerous volunteers, all under the guidance of our board of directors. 

A Podcast Summary of Our Work

In March 2022 we had the pleasure of meeting Thomas Christopher, horticulturalist and host of "Growing Greener," a weekly radio show and podcast offering "a different perspective on how to make your personal landscape healthier, more beautiful, more sustainable, and more fun."

Tom visited Gjerloff Prairie and the Charles L. Whitney Education Center with Education Center architect Lee Schriever after a trip to the Platte River to view the Sandhill Crane migration. We enjoyed a great tour of the building and a fun conversation, and Tom was kind enough to schedule an interview for his podcast series to discuss the work of Prairie Plains.

Listen to "Growing Greener's" Prairie Plains Episode