Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Prairie Center

The Lenexa Field and Garden Club finally made its way to a field for one of our meetings!  

Fortunately, there was a break in the weather.  The skies cleared a bit during a very rainy week and we met Tuesday evening for a tour of The Prairie Center.  Located in Olathe, Kansas, the 300 acres of tallgrass prairie, riparian woodlands and wetlands are maintained by the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. 

We learned about the family that originally farmed this property and even lived in the chicken coop for a while.  


We only hiked a portion of the six miles of trails making it to the original homestead and back.  Along the way, we learned about maintaining a tallgrass prairie and the challenge of fighting off the encroaching woodlands such as the Black Locust and Redbuds. 

Since it is early in the season, we saw only a few wildflowers along the way including Phlox and Spiderwort.  The seedheads of Illinois Bundleflower lined one of the paths.

The large leaves of May Apple were visible in a grassy area by the lake.


At the site of the original homestead, our guide pointed out rows of cedars.  Lining the drive to the house, the cedars made it easy to find the path to the house even in snowy weather.

The evening ended with the beautiful setting sun.  The garden club is planning to meet again this summer at The Prairie Center and we are looking forward to exploring more trails, enjoying the summer flowering native and naturalized plants, and seeing for ourselves how tall the native grasses grow.

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