Native Prairie Grass and Wildflower Habitat
Tallgrass prairie once covered 170 million acres of North America. Now, only four percent of this grassland remains. The Kansas Flint Hills Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is one of the largest remaining tracts. Native plants and prairies are an important part of our ecosystem.
The Kansas Children's Discovery Center recognizes the ecological and educational value of a Tallgrass Prairie and has one on its grounds. The tallgrass prairie project was started in 2011 by a group of dedicated volunteers including the Westar Green Team and led by Vivien Smith (pictured above on the right) who continue to maintain the prairie.
Native prairie grass habitats take three years to fully establish. In 2014, our Native Tallgrass Prairie Restoration became three years old and we began annual burns of the prairie. Burning the native grasses is proper maintenance. It ensures the growth of the tallgrass, while removing foreign plants and weeds. Prairies thrive amid drought, fire and grazing due to root systems that are up to fifteen feet long!
We invite you to walk through the prairie, view the natural habitat of many native animals and birds, enjoy the butterflies, and see how many different wildflowers you can see. The prairie is open to visitors to explore, and since it's outside the museum grounds, admission is not required.