• Artist George Catlin recorded the quarrying activity at the pipestone quarries in 1836

    Pipestone

    National Monument Minnesota

Grasses

Big Blue Stem

Big Blue Stem in the Fall

NPS, G. Wagner

The tallgrass prairie once extended over some 140 million acres, from Indiana to Kansas, and from Canada to Texas. The tallgrass prairie - once the largest contiguous ecosystem in North America -is a vast chunk of nearly vanished America, by the most recent estimates, perhaps as little as two percent remains.

Over seventy native grasses are found within Pipestone National Monument. Big Blue Stem, Indian Grass, and Prairie Cordgrass are just a few of the native species thriving in many areas of virgin and restored prairie.

Did You Know?

George Catlin

George Catlin was the first European-American to visit the pipestone quarries at Pipestone National Monument in 1836. A geologist dubbed the soft clay stone "Catlinite" after Catlin sent it to him for analysis. More...