Since 1991, Refuge staff and volunteers have been reconstructing tallgrass prairie, sedge meadow and oak savanna ecosystems on the rolling hills south of Prairie City, Iowa . At 5,600 acres, it is one of the largest prairie reconstruction projects ever attempted, initially requiring volunteers to gather local ecotype seeds from native prairies in central Iowa. In 1993, the Friends group was created to help increase public awareness and participation in Refuge activities, and also to provide money for projects that federal funds would not cover. In recent years, the Friends have provided funding for Refuge interns, transportation for school groups and land acquisitions.
Visitors may tour the Refuge any day of the year, from dawn to dusk. The Prairie Learning Center, which houses an exhibit area, bookstore and movie theater, is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. Admission is free. The facilities are closed on Christmas, New Year's Day, and Thanksgiving.