Round Prairie Park

Jefferson County Conservation Board, Fairfield, Iowa
Round Prairie Park

Round Prairie Park

Round Prairie Park is located nine miles southeast of Fairfield on Glasgow Road and two miles south on Tamarack Ave.

Camping is available year around.

⚫ 101 acres
⚫ Camping - electricity, drinking water, pit toilets
⚫ Picnic shelter
⚫ Trails - hiking, bridle
⚫ Fishing - 2 ponds and Cedar Creek   See the Fishing page
⚫ Boating - canoe access.   Go to Cedar Creek Water Trail map
⚫ Handicapped facilities
⚫ Playground equipment, historic site, prairie plantings

Round Prairie Park

Round Prairie Park

Photo above: Looking out from the Shelter.

Round Prairie Park is located nine miles southeast of Fairfield on Glasgow Road and two miles south on Tamarack Ave. The park was purchased in 1974 with 50% matching LAWCON funds.

It was the first park developed by the Jefferson County Conservation Board. Round Prairie Park is a mixture of timber, abandoned cropland and pasture. An old lime-stone quarry is also on the site.

Extensive work has been done in the area to restore the native grasses and forbs (scroll down for details).

Cedar Creek borders the park on the south and a canoe access is available.

Round Prairie Park has a 12 unit camp-ground equipped with electricity and drinking water, a shelter house, restrooms, playground equipment and two fishing ponds stocked with bass, catfish, and bluegills.

In 2013, Access Energy renovated the entire campground and replaced all of the old electric boxes with new 50-amp pedestals.

A new pit latrine was constructed near the campground and shelter which replaced the old restroom that was built in 1978.

  Take a look at more Round Prairie Park photos.

Round Prairie Park
 

Native Prairie Management Plan at Round Prairie

The undeveloped areas in Round Prairie Park contain many native prairie species. In the past very little had been done to manage these prairie areas and problems with woody vegetation encroachment have developed.

In Iowa it has been estimated that of an original 30 million acres of prairie only 30 thousand remain. Management techniques have been implemented by the JCCB to insure that the native prairie areas of Round Prairie will be preserved.

A preliminary inventory was done by Martha Skillman of the Iowa Prairie Network in the summer of 1999. At that time close to forty species of native prairie forbes, grasses, and sedges were identified. It was decided that future trips would be taken throughout the growing season to account for species which were missed during the preliminary inventory.

Since then the prairie species list has grown to eighty.

Round Prairie Park contains many woody species that are encroaching into the prairie remnants. To control woody vegetation in the prairie areas various techniques are being used. Controlled burns help kill off the smaller trees and shrubs. Larger trees which are unaffected by burning will be cut down and foliar sprays may also be used to kill off persistent species such as autumn olive.

Certain tree species such as White Oak will be left since they were historically found throughout the prairie. Species which seem to spread rapidly such as ash and cottonwood will be more aggressively controlled. Mowing will also be used to control woody vegetation or to simulate grazing.

Grazing has been recommended as a tool in prairie restoration but is not possible at Round Prairie due to lack of fencing.

The re-establishment of prairie will be a long process but it's one that the JCCB feels is well-worth the effort. (Below: Children play in the prairie during a summer program at Round Prairie Park.)

Prairie Games
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Mission Statement

Our mission is to enhance the quality of life in Jefferson County by acquiring, developing and managing public areas so that its citizens will have opportunities for quality outdoor recreation experiences, and to cultivate good land stewardship through natural history and environmental education activities.

Jefferson County Conservation Board, 2003 Libertyville Road, Fairfield, IA 52556
Call: 641-472-4421    Fax: 641-472-7911   E-mail: jeffersonccb@lisco.com
Updated 1-3-17

 

Click the map to expand it:
Round Prairie Park map
Round Prairie Park map
Lily Pond at Round Prairie Lily Pond
Lily Pond
Facebook Icon
Click Facilities Chart
Park Chart
Park Chart
Click County Map
Park map
Park map
Quarry Pond at Round Prairie.
Pond
Fishing at Round Prairie.
Pond
Bottle Gentian.
Prairie Flower
View of Cedar Creek from bridge.
Cedar Creek