Winter, spring, summer and fall, Prairie Plains Resource Institute offers a variety of annual activities to get you outdoors and learning about the natural wonders that surround us! Events range from leisurely hikes to our summer day camps for youth.

Conserving Fragmented Prairies Workshop

July 25 & 26, 2022 - Marquette and Wood River, Nebraska

Hosted by Prairie Plains Resource Institute and The Nature Conservancy's Platte River Prairies, this field-based workshop will focus on a range of topics related to restoration and management of fragmented prairies. We will visit sites that illustrate both successes and challenges as a way to foster conversation and sharing of experiences between participants. Topics will include prairie restoration/reconstruction, fire and grazing management, woody plant and other invasive species management, and more.

There is no cost for this workshop, but participation is limited, so register early to ensure you get a spot. Masks may be required for indoor sessions. We hope to host the workshop regardless of weather, but in the case of severe weather we may need to cancel all or part of the event.

Conserving Fragmented Prairies agenda.

Conserving Fragmented Prairies registration form.


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New Year's Day Hike

Every January 1

Start the New Year off right with some fresh air and exercise while hiking the hills of Gjerloff Prairie near Marquette, Nebraska. Weather dictates the length of the hike, but the scenery is beautiful regardless of the weather.

Annual Meeting


Our annual meeting of members gives us a chance to review the successes of the previous year and plan for the future.

Guided Prairie Hikes


Our guided prairie hikes occur throughout the year. These leisurely trail hikes offer plenty of time for discussion and observation and take place at Gjerloff Prairie, Sherman Ranch and Bader Park.

Winter Explore Days

February & March

Winter Explore Days activities/hikes are geared toward families who would like to get outdoors and explore during the winter. Hikers and families with kids of all ages are welcome!

Gjerloff Prairie Saturday Series

May & June

Join us on Saturdays in May and June for a relaxed hike and casual conversation at Gjerloff Prairie. Guided hikes with a variety of topics including plant identification, pioneer trail history, prairie insects and river ecology will be followed by refreshments and casual conversation at the Charles L. Whitney Education Center. 

Gjerloff Prairie Fun Run/Walk

June 4, 2022

Walk or run a 5K or 10K on the trails at Gjerloff Prairie and enjoy incredible views of the Platte River and beautiful spring flowers. The course is a mowed trail through the prairie with steep hills and rugged terrain. We run and walk for fun, so no awards are given.

Register for the Fun Run on TicketLeap!

Youth Naturalist Program


The Youth Naturalist Program for 6th through 9th graders is modeled after SOAR (Summer Orientation About Rivers) but with a more advanced curriculum for a smaller group. Campers get a hands-on look at Nebraska's natural environment.

Find out the specifics of this year's Youth Naturalist Program.

Young Nebraska Ecologists


Young Nebraska Ecologists is for 9th through 12th graders and is an extension of SOAR and the Youth Naturalist Program. YNE is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable knowledge about Nebraska ecosystems and participate in outdoor recreation activities like backpacking.

Find out the specifics of this year's Young Nebraska Ecologists program.



SOAR (Summer Orientation About Rivers), our award-winning day camp for third- through sixth-graders, gets kids out in nature to learn and better appreciate where we live. Two sessions are offered each July.

Find out the specifics of this year's SOAR program.