The prairie is one of North America's great ecosystems and a vital habitat for many plants and animals. Over 98% of the prairie has been lost in the past 150 years—but some people are trying to bring it back, hectare by hectare. Restoring a prairie is a great challenge, requiring knowlege of biology, ecology, climatology, and even economics.

<img src="flash/dirtwhirl.jpg" width="400" height="160" usemap="#prairie_dirt2" border="0" /><br /><a HREF="">Get the Flash plug-in</a> to see this scene animated!

Are you up for the challenge? If you choose the right plants and animals, you can watch the prairie come to life before your eyes! Let's begin!

North America's prairie is divided into the tallgrass ecosystem and shortgrass ecosystem (plus an area in between—the "mixed grass" prairie). Which one do you want to restore?