Bottomland Prairie Restoration
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.
Did You Know?
Kansas is tied with Florida for 3rd place in most number of tornadoes per year. This tornado is actually a "smoke devil" spawned from annual spring prairie burns at the preserve. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve