The Prairie Center
Mid-April burning helps maintain the grasses, including big and little bluestem, prairie cordgrass, switchgrass, and Indiangrass. Burning also enhances wildflowers. Look for blossoming spiderwort, Carolina anemone, and wild strawberry in the spring. In late May or early June, the endangered Mead's milkweed blooms here. Prickly poppy, Illinois bundle-flower, and sensitive brier (whose leaves fold when they are touched) flower in summer. Smooth aster, downy gentian, and Missouri goldenrod are fall bloomers which may be found. A variety of butterflies can be seen around the wildflowers.
Prairie birds that inhabit the area include eastern meadowlarks, grasshopper sparrows, American kestrels, mourning doves, and common nighthawks. Look for slender glass lizards, ringneck snakes, ornate box turtles, and other reptiles in the early summer. Mammals include white-tailed deer and coyotes.
Prominent geological features are the limestone bluffs along the west branch of Cedar Creek and quartzite boulders left by ice-age glaciers.
Primitive camping by special permission only.
6 miles of mowed trails loop through the property.
The entity responsible for management of the Prairie Center
is the Kansas Department
of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism. Contact them at (913) 856-7669
if you have specific questions about the use or management of this site.
The Grassland Heritage Foundation was instrumental in the acquisition and development of the Prairie Center. Click here to visit their web site.
Questions or comments about Natural Kansas may be directed to
Questions or comments about Natural Kansas may be directed to Jim Mason