Nature & Science
Today farms and pastures cover the Iowa countryside but elements of the state's old natural beauty fill out the landscape commemorating Herbert Hoover's life. As a child in West Branch, President Hoover filled his days with experiences in nature. He swam and fished in Wapsinonoc Creek. His rambles along the railroad bed collecting interesting rocks led to later studies of geology in college. These experiences gave Herbert Hoover an appreciation of the outdoors that persisted throughout his long life.
Herbert Hoover National Historic Site provides an island of wildlife habitat, surrounded by a rural city and agricultural land. Scientific inventories of animal species in the park revealed no amphibians and few fish, but reptiles, mammals, and birds abound. Learn more »
A commemorative cultural landscape of lawn with a scattered overstory of ornamental trees covers most of the historic areas of the park. The rest includes plantings of native grasses and wildflowers, which the National Park Service manages to exclude exotic weeds. Learn more »
Natural Features & Ecosystems
Eighty-one acres of prairie sway in the breeze at Herbert Hoover NHS. A small, quiet stream- a tributary of Wapsinonoc Creek- still meanders through the prairie and past the cottage where President Hoover was born. Learn more »
Managing these natural resources can be challenging. Exotic invasive plants, flooding, and poor water quality all threaten the health and integrity of the park's environment. National Park Service staff and volunteers employ current science and management practices to meet the challenges faced by the park's natural resources. Learn more »
Did You Know?
Herbert Hoover's birthplace was a tourist attraction as early as 1928. Jennie Scellers, the house's owner, charged 10 cents for tours and set up a souvenir stand on her lawn. More...