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

    Pipestone

    National Monument Minnesota

Lichens

Lichen growth on quartzite rock

Lichen growth on quartzite rock

NPS

Lichens are an important part of the prairie ecosystem at Pipestone National Monument. These plant/fungi organisms slowly break down rocks to mineral components to create a primitive soil over long periods of time.

It takes a century for Lichens to spread an inch or less on rocks.

Did You Know?

A quarry site with quartzite rubble pile

Archeological evidence indicates that the quarrying of pipestone has occurred for 3,000 years at Pipestone National Monument. The important traditions of pipestone quarrying and pipemaking continue today. More...