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On Saturday May 27, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., children will have the opportunity to experience life on a working ranch. Living history interpreters at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve will assist children in performing authentic ranch chores such as gathering eggs, feeding the chickens, milking the goats, grinding corn, and currying the horse. After completing each chore, children will collect sticker tokens and earn a Spring Hill Ranch certificate once all their chores are complete. From 12 noon to 4 p.m. visitors can experience the prairie grasses and wide open spaces with a horse-drawn wagon ride, while learning about modes of transportation in the 1880s. Wagon rides are given approximately every 20 minutes and cowboys will be available to answer questions, as they go about their daily tasks. All activities are free of charge.
The fun continues on Sunday, May 28 with a program called Thar’s Fossils in Them Thar Hills. Kids learn about fossils in the Flint Hills, then use archeology tools and methods to “find” trilobites and other fossils from purchased nature kits. Kids can take home their very own fossil, fossil guide, and archeology tool. Program is from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. with class size limited to 25 students. Please call 620-273-8494 (hit 0) to register your child for this free program.
On Monday, May 29 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. kids learn about the mighty bison on a bus tour, then finish with a bison chip throwing contest. Please wear appropriate clothing for getting dirty. Winner will receive their very own, official bison chip trophy. Please call the preserve and make a free reservation at 620-273-8494 (hit 0).
Enjoy a free 90-minute prairie bus tour, available daily during the summer months at 11 a.m. during the week and at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on weekends. A minimum of two passengers are required. Reservations not required, but helpful. Buses are air conditioned and ADA accessible via a chair lift.
To complete the holiday weekend, hike one or more of the over 40 miles of hiking trails. Trail maps are available at the visitor center or can be downloaded online at www.nps.gov/tapr. If hiking through the bison pasture, please heed all warning signs and keep at least a football field’s length between you and the animal. Bison are wild animals and will react aggressively if provoked. You may also hike around the bison pasture to reach your destination. Information is available at the visitor center kiosk and at the pasture hiking gate. Please be safe during your visit to the preserve and come back often.
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve invites you to discover the meaning of national parks, how your park inspires you - both in personal connections and memorable experiences. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is located two miles north of Strong City on Kansas State Highway 177 (the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway) and is a unique public/private partnership between the National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy. For more information, visit the preserve’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NPS.TallgrassPrairie , website at www.nps.gov/tapr, email e-mail us, or call the preserve at (620) 273-8494.
To learn more about The Nature Conservancy in Kansas, visit the Conservancy’s website at www.nature.org/Kansas or Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TNCKansas .