Loess prairie plants grow on the extremely steep slope of Polson Loess Bluff Prairie, high above the Missouri River. Photo: Bruce Schuette

Polson Loess Bluff Prairie

About Polson Loess Bluff Prairie

In November 2019, Jim Polson and his sister Judi Polson of New York donated a 20-acre portion of a loess bluff to MPF in honor of their parents Joy Scamman Polson and Grover Sterling (Barney) Polson.

The property, formally named the Joy Scamman Polson and Grover Sterling (Barney) Polson Loess Bluff Prairie, is outside the town of Rockport  near the Nebraska state line. While small in size, a rare loess hill prairie at Polson Loess Bluff Prairie is home to 10 plants of conservation concern including nine-anthered dalea (Dalea enneandra), skeleton plant (Lygodesmia juncea), and silvery psoralea (Pediomelum argophyllum).

Polson Loess Bluff Prairie includes a section of a west-facing loess bluff along the eastern edge of the Missouri River floodplain. The small loess hill prairie openings (dry loess/glacial till prairies) are a Missouri natural community of conservation concern. 

“This land was part of a homestead established in the 1840s by Joy’s great-grandfather, Enoch Scamman,” wrote Jim. “The donated portion of the bluff has never been under cultivation. In the 1960s and early 1970s, this was known locally as ‘Polson’s Bluff.’ In large part, this was because Joy devoted the area to a day camp for local Girl Scouts after she sagely decided the girls should have a more intimate encounter with nature than was possible on the well groomed grounds of Tarkio College where the camp was being held. Boy Scouts also camped at Polson’s Bluff many times.” MPF is extremely grateful to Jim Polson and Judi Polson for this gift.

MPF is currently conducting restoration work at the site, removing cedars and other encroaching tree species not original to this grassland habitat.


Due to the fragile nature of this area and the extremely steep slopes, public visitation to the site is by appointment only. Please send inquiries to info@moprairie.org or 888-843-6739.

A Missouri Bicentennial Project: Protection & Restoration of MPF’s 400-acre Lordi Marker Prairie

An extraordinary $1 million lead gift from Susan Lordi Marker and her husband Dennis Marker, along with other generous gifts and financial backing from MPF, made this new MPF acquisition possible. Your gift of any amount will help us raise necessary funds restricted to this project, which includes purchase cost, restoration, and stewardship of this remarkable 400-acre property.