Brownlee Cemetery has a prairie remnant on it, which became a dedicated nature preserve under the Thompson administration. It survived through abandonment by the Great Rivers Presbytery when the church consolidated with the Norwood Church 3 miles away. In the 1970's Marshall Reynolds identified the site as a quality prairie which was in danger by a person grazing horses on the site. Marshall took over management and began burning the prairie. In 1982 the Natural Lands Institute acquired possession of the land from the Great River Presbytery and turned the deed over to the Mercy County Soil and Water Conservation District. This established the District as the first in the nation to own a dedicated nature preserve.