Prairie CelestialLisa, Scott, Coby, and I went on a tallgrass prairie tour (aka vacation) through Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri last week/weekend. It was a whirlwind trip, but it was very fun! It also helped me feel a little better to know some good quality prairies are protected.

We visited Tallgrass Prairie Preserve (OK), Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve (KA), Konza Prairie (KA), Prairie State Park (MO), Black Oaks Prairie (MO) (Scott’s 80 acres, part remnant prairie and part restoration-in-progress), Osage Prairie (MO), Stilwell Prairie (MO), and Diamond Grove Prairie (MO).

Prairies are an ecosystem dominated vegetatively by grasses and forbs (such as flowers). In spring, summer, and fall prairies are full of wildflowers blooming, creating a beautiful landscape of flowers and grasses that once stretched to the horizon.

Tallgrass prairies, which once covered the central US from southern Canada down into Texas, are 99% gone mostly because of conversion to farmland (due to the rich soils created by the prairie ecosystem) and development. Since so little tallgrass prairie is left, it is important that we protect what little remains before it is destroyed by development or plowing.

Many creatures depend on the prairie as habitat, such as bison, prairie chickens, prairie dogs, and the black footed ferret.

See the Native Prairies Association of Texas website for more information about prairies in Texas and how to help preserve these wonderful places for current and future generations.

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