• The setting sun over the Flint Hills casts shadows across the wide expanse of tallgrass prairie.

    Tallgrass Prairie

    National Preserve Kansas

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  • Reminder, Bison Are Wild Animals

    Windmill Pasture is home to the bison herd. They have been quite active in recent weeks. Please stay on the trails and use caution in their vicinity. Do not come in close contact with the bison. Allow at least 100 yards between you and the herd. More »

  • Handicap Parking Available at Visitor Center

    For the next several months, the handicap parking area by the barn is closed until the barn construction project is complete. Handicap parking is available at the Visitor Center.

Bottomland Prairie Restoration

Fox Creek Trail in new prairie restoration area

Big bluestem growing along the trail

Original lowland tallgrass prairie is extremely rare, only a few examples of original lowland prairie exist today. A glimpse of innate lowland prairie, also referred to as bottomland prairie, is expressed in "Reminiscences of Cedar Creek from 1864-75" (Sayre, C.A., Chase County Historical Sketches, Vol. 1, Chase County Historical Society):

"There was no ground broken and I well remember when I was a boy, the bluestem grass in the bottoms grew up to my shoulders on a pony."

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is committed to restoring and reconstructing approximately 500 acres of smooth brome fields within the Fox Creek riparian area to native vegetation that once grew here. The restoration strategy will include the use of cultural practices (fire, haying, and grazing), herbicides, and seeding and planting of native grasses and wildflowers.

After years of planning, the preserve is planting native prairie seed in lowland prairie around the bottomland interpretive trail. This trail is open to the public for seeing and experiencing this reconstruction of a lowland tallgrass prairie.

To reach the goal of replanting approximately 500 acres, prairie reconstruction will be done in stages adding new acreage each year. This approach provides viewing of restoration in various stages. Volunteers have assisted with the gathering of native prairie seed for this project. If you would like to volunteer for prairie seed collection, call the preserve for more information (620) 273-8494.

Hike the Bottomland Trail area and experience grass that is "tall in the fall."

Download the Fox Creek Trail Brochure found on the Publications page for further details and photos of the prairie restoration areas.

 
cardinalflower
Cardinal flower grows in the riparian areas of the preserve
 

Did You Know?

Collared lizards at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

Collared lizards can run on their hind legs with a stride that reaches more than 3 times the length of their bodies.