About 14,000 years ago this landscape was covered with ice.
When the ice melted, an open parkland dotted with black spruce developed. After a period of warming and drying, forests of oak and elm replaced the spruce. People began living in this region between 12,000 and 10,000 years ago.
Changing Climate, Changing Land
If you were here 5,000 years ago, you would be surrounded by a tallgrass prairie dotted with shallow lakes. As the climate got warmer and drier, many of the lakes dried up. The prairie in front of you became part of the grasslands that once stretched from Canada to Texas. Today, after waves of western settlement, only small remnants of native prairie survive.