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Leadplant Prairie

Grassland Heritage Foundation has exciting news! Your generous donations have enabled GHF to buy and protect Leadplant Prairie!

Leadplant Prairie is a 17.7 acre hay meadow in Anderson County, near the town of Welda. The area is known as one of the few remaining strongholds of the federally threatened Mead’s milkweed in Kansas, and the Nature Conservancy owns other high-quality prairies nearby. Kansas Biological Survey counted 199 plant species on Leadplant Prairie, including Mead’s milkweed! We expect to find more species over time.

The prairie’s location provides a great opportunity for education and outreach. It is on the popular Prairie Spirit Trail that runs between Ottawa and Iola, giving hikers and bikers direct access to a meaningful prairie experience. Leadplant Prairie is within an hour from the Kansas City and Lawrence areas.

When can you see Leadplant Prairie? Since plants are shutting down for the winter, we will invite members to an event in the spring. Now, we’re asking for your help with rebuilding our prairie protection fund and to fund the upkeep needed to maintain the health of this prairie.

We were only able to protect this prairie because we had cash on hand. If we were not able to protect it when we did, the land could have been sold to someone uninterested in managing the site to protect biodiversity. GHF needs to be available to protect vulnerable prairie sites—even last-minute opportunities—but we can only do that if we replenish our land protection funds. Meanwhile, prairie conservation becomes more urgent and challenging as remnants are lost and land prices climb.

Please consider a donation to GHF's Prairie Preservation Fund and enable us to protect more prairie!

Leadplant Prairie Highlights

Leadplant Prairie is named for the abundant leadplant found there. It’s one of the plant species found primarily on high-quality prairies. Leadplant Prairie also hosts the federally threatened Mead’s milkweed, with 72 stems counted in 2018. We expect to find more Mead’s stems and more species in the future! Other plants that we’re excited to protect and steward include:

Tuberous Indian-plantain, Amoglossum plantagineum

Azure aster, Aster oolentangiensis

American bluehearts, Buchnera americana

Greater camas, Camassia angusta

Big-flower coreopsis, Coreopsis grandiflora 

Rough rattlesnake-root, Prenanthes aspera

Downy gentian, Gentiana puberulenta (photo at right)

Slender ladies’ tresses, Spiranthes lacera 

White prairie clover, Dalea candida

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