Webster County is under a Directed Health Measure until at least May 12th * Webster County Community Hospital and Clinic will not allow visitors into the facility. Only patients are allowed to enter. Exceptions include pediatric patients who may have one adult and those patients requiring end of life care *Red Cloud Community Schools will be closed until further notice. School buildings are closed to the public and to students through May 31st * The RCHS Alumni Banquet has been cancelled * *City of Red Cloud offices are closed to the public and the Community Center is closed as well until at least May 12th * See the COVID-19 Resources page for more closures and community updates


The South Heartland District Health Department area (Webster, Nuckolls, Clay, and Adams Counties in Nebraska) has reported at least 13 positive cases of COVID-19. Webster County is under a directed health measure until at least May 12th. A directed health measure means restaurants and bars can only do takeout, curbside or delivery and that there is now an enforceable order limiting gatherings to 10 people or less. As of 6pm on Monday, April 6th Nebraska has 412 cases and 8 deaths. Kansas has 845 cases and 25 deaths. Kansas is also under a stay at home directive while all 93 counties in Nebraska are under a directed health measure. Travel to Red Cloud for anything other than work is not recommended at this time. We will update this page daily.

Due to heightened concerns surrounding COVID-19, the City of Red Cloud is taking precautions to best protect the health, safety, and welfare of the community. Effective immediately, the City Hall and the Community Center will be closed through at least May 12th.

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COVID-19 Resources


Willa Cather Memorial Prairie

Willa Cather Memorial Prairie

Attraction Information

5 miles south of Red Cloud on the west side of Hwy. 281.

Hike the trails and enjoy the unbroken horizon.

Contact The Willa Cather Foundation at 402-746-2653 for more information about this and other Cather Country Tour locations. 

The Willa Cather Memorial Prairie is a botanical treasure consisting of 612 acres of never-been-plowed native prairie. The Willa Cather Foundation is working to return this land to its 19th century conditions, a time before the encroachment of man and foreign plant species.

The importance of the prairie in shaping America's art, history, and culture has been lost to much of the world. Of the millions of acres of grasslands that once covered the continent, only a small percentage remains. In order to protect the last American prairies, extraordinary efforts must be made not only to preserve them, but to bring visitors to the prairie, to teach them the importance of this special ecosystem. As the largest relict prairie in six counties, the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie is the perfect setting for teaching in nature.

Birders will enjoy our special location which features many grassland species, including eastern and western meadowlarks, eastern and western king birds, upland plovers, wild turkeys, bobolinks and other New World blackbird species, vesper sparrows and their many related grassland sparrows, wood ducks and other migratory birds, and greater prairie chickens. The Cather Prairie is listed as a National Birding Site and is a partner site of the Chicken Dance Trail. We are also partners in the Great Plains Ecotourism Coalition.

The Cather Prairie also boasts an ever-changing tapestry of native grasses, flowers, and forbs. Some of our most notable species include big and little bluestem, side-oats, hairy, and blue grama grasses, indian and switch grasses, as well our native cool-season buffalo grass. The wildflower season stretches from April through October, beginning with the sedges and fringed puccoons, and finishing big with ten-petal mentzelia and several varieties of sunflowers and goldenrod. In between, primroses, asters, native thistles, prairie coneflower, echinacea, dalea, ironweed, and many others grace the edges of our visitor trails. 

5 miles south of Red Cloud
Hwy. 281
Red Cloud, NE 68970