One of the main goals of the Refuge is to increase scientific knowledge and understanding of the prairie and savanna through ongoing research.

There are seven active Land Management and Research Demonstration Programs (LMRD) in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), each with a specific ecosystem focus. Neal Smith NWR is home is the home Refuge of the Midwest Region’s LMRD Program that serves eight states and approximately 50 FWS stations. The LMRD Program focuses on conservation of globally endangered tallgrass prairie and savanna ecosystems, and the species they support through targeted research and development of innovative solutions to ecological restoration challenges.

To read more about these and other research projects at Neal Smith NWR, please refer to the Field Guide to Research at Neal Smith NWR, or browse our research videos.

If you would like to submit a research proposal, please contact the Refuge staff or specific guidelines and evaluation criteria. Researchers typically submit a pre-proposal, not more than two pages, prior to submitting a formal proposal. Proposals are evaluated and ranked by a Research Advisory Committee.


P.O. Box 399
9981 Pacific St.
Prairie City, IA 50228
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The refuge roads and trails are open daily from dawn to dusk.

The Prairie Learning and Visitor Center is open year-round.
Regular Hours:
Sunday-Saturday from 9am-4pm

Winter hours:
December 1-February 28
Monday-Saturday from 9am-4pm; closed Sunday.

We are open on Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day; we are closed on all other Federal holidays.