Our work to create and protect prairie wildlife refuges depends on you.

Do your part for the prairie

Thanks to generous supporters like you, the Southern Plains Land Trust (SPLT) has protected over 25,000 acres of beautiful grassland habitat. With the rapid pace of urban development and the perils of climate change, our work is especially urgent. Wildlife need safe refuge: land that is purchased and protected just for them.

Acres Protected


You have grown Heartland Ranch to be larger than any single state park in Colorado, several national parks, and bigger than Manhattan. Your generosity allows us to permanently safeguard and care for this remarkable land, and the many fascinating animals that inhabit it. 

Native wildlife, including coyotes, pronghorn, songbirds, raptors, and lizards, are flourishing on SPLT’s preserves.

But often it’s an individual animal that captures our hearts. Meet Nellie.

She is an old, petite bison that was rescued from a tiny pasture in Houston many years ago. She now lives on SPLT’s Heartland Ranch. Being a little bison is tough, because bison society values large, dominant, strong members. Nellie is highly intelligent and very cute. Nellie knows that, although she is at the bottom of the pecking order of our herd of 87 bison, if she is around people, the other bison will not pick on her. Nellie allows us to hand feed her, and we have developed quite a bond. Sadly, Nellie developed an issue with one of her back legs a few months ago. This is a big problem; three-legged bison do not last long in the rough and tumble world of the southern plains. Bison often walk long distances on a daily basis, and they must move around to get enough food and water. By April, it seemed as though little Nellie had given up completely – we found her in a dry stream bed with no food and no water.


We are hands-off with most of our bison, just giving them the space to be their bison selves. For Nellie, though, it was all hands on deck. Your mighty SPLT staff of three took turns delivering food and water. Jay, the Preserve Manager, consulted with several vets and the diagnosis was foot-rot. Jay gave Nellie antibiotics through a dart gun. The first round failed. The second round failed. We switched to a stronger antibiotic. The third round failed. We were preparing for the worst. We gave her one last dose of antibiotics in May.

At the beginning of June, Ashleigh spotted Nellie putting weight on her back foot. The last round of antibiotics had finally worked. Nellie is walking normally now and is back to her sweet but sassy self.

SPLT would not be able to do this without you. Thanks to you and your fellow advocates for the prairie, Nellie is walking as well as she ever has in the open prairie.

Now that she is doing better, Nellie and her friends would like some more room to roam. You can make that possible.

SPLT has a unique opportunity to purchase the 25,000 acres of land adjacent to Heartland Nature Preserve. This would double the size of our current protected land. That means twice the space for pronghorn to stretch their legs. Twice the space for our bison to roam and wallow. Twice the space for prairie dogs to expand their empires. Giving these species more room to roam requires money.

As a force of nature, you can make a real difference by joining together with other prairie protectors. See below how, together, we can generate $220,000 for prairie wildlife. This would be significant progress towards paying off the mortgage on Heartland Ranch East. Please consider making a donation to fill a spot!

Another tangible way to visualize the progress for the prairie that you are creating with your donation is to look at it per acre. The land near Heartland sells for $300 per acre. If you donate $300, an entire acre is preserved for nighthawks, meadowlarks, and coyotes to sing over and for Indian paintbrush to bloom on. If you donate $150, half of an acre will be protected for lizards and spotted ground squirrels to scurry over, and for the rare Colorado green gentian to thrive on. No matter what amount you donate, you are helping to create safe spaces for plants and animals that urgently need protection.

Please make a gift today.

SPLT’s work to create and protect prairie wildlife refuges depends on you.