goat prairie

Goat prairie was perhaps originally an ironic term for steep, rough terrain, often including a hilltop that presumably only an animal as nimble as a goat could hope to reach for grazing. This rocky, dry area, a result of glacial drift in the Midwest, often abounds in wildflowers and prairie grasses. The nine-acre Kaufmann Prairie in Iowa, with rugged, rocky ridgetops and steep inclines, is a typical goat prairie. In recent years such areas, once considered valueless, have become the focus of passionate reclamation and restoration efforts in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois, where the term seems most used.

Patricia Hampl