On November 12, 1996 the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve became a unit of the National Park Service. Since that day, the staff have been tracking daily visitation. Thirteen years have since passed and 1/4 million people have visited this special place in the heart of the Kansas Flint Hills. From all over the world, visitors come to the preserve to see some of the last remaining tallgrass prairie still in existence.
On November 15th, two very special people visiting from Hawaii became the 250,000th visitors to the park. Kelly Kobayashi and Joseph Vierra were visiting the Kansas national parks. It came as quite a surprise when the rangers informed them of their special achievement.
The celebratory event was marked with a special awards ceremony. Kelly Kobayashi was awarded with a Distinguished Visitor Award certificate, a gold painted ranger flat hat, books and gift items from the on-site bookstore, and refreshments for all in attendance.
We wish to thank these two very special visitors for choosing to visit the preserve and for helping us celebrate this milestone in the preserve's history.
As Joseph wrote in the preserve's sign in register "Congratulations to Kelly (250,000th) and Joseph (250,001st) visitors!"