Stone State Park

The Loess Hills are the iconic landscape of Western Iowa. Stone State Park in Sioux City is a great place to explore these natural giants.

Sioux City's Stone State Park

While exploring the park, you might catch a glimpse of some familiar critters and some very unique plants. One plant you'll find is typically found in the southwest United States and Mexico than western Iowa. What could allow for this plant to grow such out of its typical home?


What local plants or animals might you be able to explore at a park near you?

Animal Homes

In Iowa, we often see birds flying, squirrels climbing or deer grazing. Have you ever wondered what areas these and other animals call home? What do their homes look like? Do they have to build it? What purpose does it serve? Check out this video to get an idea of where you might find animal homes near the place that you live.


Where can you find animal homes where you live?

Loess Hills

Iowa is known for its nutrient-rich soil, but it isn’t found all across the state. Along the western edge of the state, loess soil covers the ground. What makes this soil different from most of the other soil in the state? How did it get here? Why is it piled into the rolling hills of western Iowa?


What do you notice about the soil?

Unique Prairie

Prairies are marked by grasses, flowers and a lack of trees. In Stone State Park, prairies can be found on top of hills made of loess soil. Why might prairies form here? What prevents trees from growing at the top of these hills? What unique life might these prairies support? You might be surprised to find out.


What unique plants or animals might you be able to find in a prairie?

Soil Profiling

Soil is made up of many different types of particles. Oftentimes we avoid getting “dirty,” but if we take the time to look at, feel and even smell the soil that we walk on, we may gain a whole new perspective of the place that we live.


What makes loess soil so different from the soil found in other parts of the state?