The Sandhills

The Sandhills formed during the last 10,000 years when strong and steady winds shaped stream-deposited sands into the dunes and valleys we see today. Periods of low rainfall probably contributed to the forming of the Sandhills by limiting the number of plants which hold the sand in place. Today, a variety of grasses and other plants shield the dunes from the force of the wind and provide a degree of stability to the dunes. These grasses include prairie sand reed, sand love, blowout, Indian, and big and little bluestem. Rainfall quickly filters through the sand to the Ogallala Aquifer, one of the largest underground water sources in the world. This abundant water source feeds the lakes, marshes, streams, and springs so important to wildlife. In many places, the water is just below the surface, providing natural underground irrigation.