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NINE-MILE PRAIRIE

This is one of the largest tracts of virgin prairie remaining in eastern Nebraska. Starting in the 1920s, it was the site of more than 40 years of pioneering studies of scientific plant ecology by J. E. Weaver and students at the University of Nebraska. Of aesthetic and scientific interest, the prairie, in the words of Weaver, "is composed of many different species of native American plants. . . . One is awed by its immensity, its complexity, and the seeming impossibility of understanding and describing it. But after certain principles and facts become clear, one comes not only to know and understand the grasslands but also to delight in them. . . . The climax vegetation is the outcome of thousands of years of sorting and modification of species and adaptations to soil and climate. Prairie is much more than land covered by grass. It is a slowly evolved, highly complex, organic entity, centuries old. Once destroyed, it can never be replaced by man."

Acquisition of this remnant of Nebraska's natural heritage was through the University of Nebraska Foundation. Two citizens were tireless in their efforts to secure this prairie for posterity: Ernest Rousek and A. T. Harrison.


University of Nebraska Foundation
Nebraska State Historical Society
West of Lincoln on old Air Base grounds, N.W. 48th St., Lincoln
Lancaster County
Marker 288

 


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http://www.nebraskahistory.org/publish/markers/texts/nine-mile_prairie.htm
Last updated 4 June 2004

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