Pleasant Valley expands 2,080 acres and is a mosaic of natural areas. Within its borders exist a high-quality oak savanna, a grade ‘A’ stream, a never before plowed wetland and an impressive prairie ecosystem. This special combination of habitats creates one of the most
biologically diverse, stunningly beautiful, and locally accessible sites in the county.
Pleasant Valley is also home to a variety animal species, including hawks, turtles, salamanders, fox, deer and numerous warblers. In addition, 274 native plant species, 13 of which are rare, thrive in this environment. Plants such as the northern bog violet, short green milkweed, prairie star sedge, prairie buttercup, swamp thistle and prairie Indian plantain help give this area a high ecological rating, while the more common sunflowers,
milkweed and wild black cherry can also be seen.
Two residents of Pleasant Valley’s stream and wetland areas are the State Endangered Blanding’s turtle and Iowa darter. The Iowa darter is a petite fish (2–3 in.) that inhabits small streams where currents are sluggish and bottoms are muddy. The Blanding’s turtle inhabits slow moving or still wetlands where there is ample submerged and emergent vegetation.