Some of the 132 restored prairie pothole wetlands on the eastern half of Prairie Dunes Wildlife Management Area near Gary

Restoration Becomes a Reality at Prairie Dunes

For the last couple decades, a spring drive north of Gary, Minnesota on Highway 32 would have taken you by numerous rows of drainage ditches and vast, level expanses of black dirt. Going 60 miles per hour, it would be hard to imagine that the flat monotony might one day turn into potholes filled with ducks, that the uplands might once again become a jungle of wildflowers with rough blazing star and lead plant, or that a brood of Greater Prairie-Chickens might race through the understory catching insects.

There is no need to channel your inner child’s imagination to picture this anymore. On your next drive you can pull over and visit the 618-acre Prairie Dunes Wildlife Management Area (WMA). If you decide to wander into the WMA, you’ll want to bring a map to navigate around the 120 restored prairie pothole wetlands that are speckled across the area.

The details of restoration won’t be left to the imagin