The Missouri Prairie Foundation® invites all to recognize and celebrate prairies in Missouri and throughout the nation. A new Public Prairies of Missouri Interactive Story Map, created by the Missouri Department of Conservation in partnership with the Missouri Prairie Foundation, is an online resource to help you plan your next visit to a Missouri prairie.
Jefferson City, MO (May 28, 2020)—Prairie is a defining landscape of the United States. From the prairies of the Great Plains and Midwest to the glades, coastal grasslands, and other related communities throughout the country, grasslands have benefited Americans in countless ways.
Today, our native grassland legacy has been dramatically reduced to scattered remnants of its once vast 160-million-acre domain across North America. These remnants, from pocket prairies with their beauty and diversity of plants, insects, birds, and other grassland wildlife, to the larger tracts that support cattle ranching, antelope, bison, and other large animals, remain vitally important to people for their contributions to water quality, soil health, carbon storage, forage protection in drought, and wildlife and pollinator habitat.
In 2016, the Missouri Prairie Foundation established National Prairie Day, registered on the National Day Calendar as the first Saturday in June. The goals of this special day are to enhance public awareness of what prairie is, educate about its value, and motivate and inspire all to support prairie conservation, restoration, and enjoyment. This year, National Prairie Day is Saturday, June 6, 2020.
“All are invited to join us in recognizing National Prairie Day,” said Carol Davit, executive director of the Missouri Prairie Foundation, a 54-year-old non-profit prairie conservation organization and land trust. “National Prairie Day provides a day of focus across the United States to inspire learning, appreciation, and exploration of our national prairie legacy. We encourage visits to Missouri prairies accessible to public, which include prairies owned by the Missouri Prairie Foundation and other nonprofit organizations and agencies.” Please follow social distancing guidelines when visiting prairies.
A new online resource developed by the Missouri Department of Conservation in partnership with the Missouri Prairie Foundation will help with prairie trip planning. The web-based Public Prairies of Missouri Interactive Story Map is a directory to more than 90 original, unplowed prairies and some prairie plantings, each with special features that support an array of plants and animals, many restricted to prairie.
“These prairies are rare gems of Missouri’s landscape,” said Wildlife Programs Supervisor Lauren Hildreth, who created the resource. “The Missouri Department of Conservation is pleased to offer the Public Prairies of Missouri Interactive Story Map to help more citizens explore their prairie heritage.”
Learn more about National Prairie Day and how you can be a part of this special day across the nation at nationalprairieday.org.
The Missouri Prairie Foundation is a 54-year-old conservation organization and land trust that protects and restores prairie and other native grasslands through acquisition, management, education, and support of prairie research. The organization owns 23 properties totaling more than 3,200 acres of prairie across the state and works with partners to inspire conservation of thousands more. The Missouri Prairie Foundation is also home to the Grow Native! native plant education and marketing program and the Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force.