Midwest Region


December 4, 2009

Corey Kudrna, 606-442-3187
Chuck Traxler, 612-713-5313


Returning the Hills at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge


Missouri Western State University students removing woody vegetation on a loess hill.
Photo Credit: FWS

Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) in Mound City, Mo. is restoring the fragile loess hills with the assistance of several colleges, universities and the local community. Major portions of the hills have been re-established to native loess prairie and loess savannah habitats on the Refuge.

Corey Kudrna, Wildlife Refuge Specialist said, “The groups have almost completed the removal of unwanted woody vegetation on one of the historically managed hills. Now our efforts have moved toward hand seed collecting and planting of grasses and forbs. Being able to work on nearly flat land to steep hills in all stages of restoration, offers projects that everyone can participate in year round.”

The loess hills, a rare geologic formation of fine silt deposited during the last glacial period, are nutrient rich and highly erodible, making restoration difficult for Refuge staff. This breathtaking habitat stretches from about 30 miles south of St. Joseph, Mo., to extreme northern Iowa. The Refuge includes fragments of a once vast native prairie.

"Volunteering on loess hill habitat restoration at Squaw Creek enhances my professional development and serves as a learning experience that can’t be paid for in a traditional university course setting", said Ben Limle, student at Missouri Western State University. The Refuge offers these opportunities to students as well as to individuals and civic groups. If interested in volunteering for restoration projects, call Corey Kudrna at 606-442-3187 or address e-mail to:


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Last updated: June 15, 2016