Pleasant Valley is 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.
Visitors can trek down 4.5 miles of looped trails that wind through prairie and savanna. In the winter months visitors can try snow shoeing and cross country skiing (when there is at least 4 inches of snow) on 2.7 miles of groomed trails that are perfect for beginners or those skiers who like a longer route.