Preserve Celebrates its 250000th Visitor

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!"

250,000th visitor to the preserve
Kelly Kobayashi and Joseph Vierra receive the Distinguished Visitor Certificate for being the preserve's 250,000th visitor since the preserve's establishment on November 12, 1996.
250,000th visitor to the preserve
Kelly and Joseph receive the coveted Gold Ranger Hat
250,000th visitor to the preserve
Kelly and Joseph blow out the candles
250,000th visitor
Ranger staff and the 250,000 and 250,001 visitor pose for a group photo.  From left: Pete Smith, Jeff Rundell, Joseph Vierra, Kelly Kobayashi, Heather Brown, Eric Patterson

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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2480B KS Hwy 177
Strong City, KS 66869


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