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 »
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?
A single blade of big bluestem might have a root system descending over 8 feet underground. This is deep enough so that the plant will emerge in the spring even without rainfall. Big bluestem grows abundantly on the Southwind Nature Trail.