Plover Prairie Preserve

Plover Prairie Preserve
Odessa, Lac qui Parle county, MN
1134 acres; wet lowland, mesic and dry prairie with granite outcrops

Park/Area Notes

The Nature Conservancy’s Plover Prairie Preserve is a mosaic patchwork of prairie amongst active farmland. The property contains wet lowland prairie feathering into mesic and dry prairie on higher ground with scattered boulders and granite outcrops.

Apparently an attempt is being made to reintroduce the Greater Prairie Chicken to the area and the prairie is home to Loggerhead shrike, Wilson’s phalarope, short-eared owl, several nesting waterfowl, and two species of concern according to the state: the upland sandpiper and marbled godwit. A large number of mammals live on the preserve, including northern grasshopper mouse, plains pocket mouse, prairie vole, western harvest mouse, coyote and badger. White lady’s slippers can be found, as well as prickly pear cactus, Carolina foxtail, slender milk vetch, lotus milk vetch, water hyssop, mudwort, mousetail and soft goldenrod. (source: The Nature Conservancy website)

A rough bounding box around this area at iNaturalist (as of July 2023) shows observations of: 77 plant species, 17 insect species, 2 fungi inc lichen species, 1 bird species, 1 frog species, and 1 skink species.

Other than some signage and rough pull offs parking areas, the site is minimally maintained and there are no amenities. The preserve is close to the Lac qui Parle and Pyramid Wildlife Management Areas (WMA), two Waterfowl Production Areas, and Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge.

The Preserve can be thought of as having three units: East, Central/Addition, and West. The Nature Conservancy treats the East and West as one Main Unit and the central part as the Addition Unit. and eBird treat them as three separate units with eBird calling the Addition the Central Unit. Because that area of the state has sparse online map information and the names of roads seem to vary from web service to web service (Google, Bing, etc), figuring out where one might park to visit the site took a bit of work. By far, the best information on parking and maps was found at They have a pdf map of the complete area on their East Unit page.

Caveat: Referencing the map (link above) will help with awareness that the preserve shares many boundaries with private land and it will take care to avoid trespassing on that private land. Since this preserve is not heavily trafficked nor maintained, the parking pull offs are likely to be overgrown. There are no shoulders on the narrow roads so just ‘pulling over’ without entering the field pull offs is not feasible. From “The roads bordering this site are very narrow gravel roads with no shoulders. Meeting a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction would be an adventure. There is no room anywhere to park on the shoulder.”

EAST UNIT parking/links:

A field pull off is on the NW corner of the 370th St (e/w) & 201st Ave (n/s) intersection.
There is a wood sign near this pull off.
The preserve lies to the NE and NW of this intersection.

Google Copy Plus Code: 5QW2+VM Odessa, Lac qui Parle County, Minnesota
45.19694481806881, -96.2478712944992
Google only shows the name of 201st Av at its extreme south end where it intersects with 370th St.
Bing only shows the name 201st Ave - not CR15 at all.
The intersection is two miles east of US75 Plover Prairie East
eBird Hotspot reports: Plover Prairie - East Unit
eBird Checklist: Plover Prairie - East Unit


A field pull off [1] is on north side of 370th St, .38 miles east of US75.
A possible pull off [2] is on north side of 370th St, just west of 191st Ave (.95 miles east of US75).
The preserve is to the north of 370th St.

Pull off [1]
Google Copy Plus Code: 5PW9+PMV Bellingham, Lac qui Parle County, Minnesota
45.196867, -96.280817
Pull off [2]
Google Copy Plus Code: 5PWJ+Q8H Bellingham, Lac qui Parle County, Minnesota
45.196950, -96.269150 Plover Prairie Addition
eBird Hotspot reports: Plover Prairie - Central Unit
eBird Checklist: Plover Prairie - Central Unit

WEST UNIT parking/links:

A field pull off is on the east side of US75, .6 miles north of 370th St and 3.77 miles south of MN7.
The pull off is just north of a wood sign for the preserve which sits to the east.

Google Copy Code: 6P46+5HW Odessa, Lac qui Parle County, Minnesota
45.205483, -96.288533 Plover Prairie West Unit
eBird Hotspot reports: Plover Prairie - West Unit
eBird Checklist: Plover Prairie - West Unit

Additional Links:

The Nature Conservancy: Main Unit (East & West)
The Nature Conservancy: Addition Unit Plover Prairie Complete
MN River Valley Nat'l Scenic Byway: Plover Prairie


After all the digging and investigating I did, we ultimately did not visit this preserve. But I sure wasn’t going to dump all the work I did. Even if we never make it back to this area, someone else might benefit from the work I did and what better place to offer it up than here?

Julkaistu heinäkuu 3, 2023 08:01 IP. käyttäjältä mmmiller mmmiller


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