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Prairie Park Prairie Education and Restoration Project

Join Grassland Heritage Foundation and Native Lands Restoration Collaborative, in partnership with Lawrence Parks and Recreation, for unique opportunities to learn about our native prairie landscape! We are embarking on a new prairie reconstruction project in the heart of Lawrence that focuses on why and how we can protect our prairie spaces. We are excited to foster an educational space that benefits our entire community, from students to trail users to wildlife.

See below for an overview of the project and descriptions of our upcoming events!

Prairie Park is located at 2811 Kensington Road, Lawrence, KS, 66046.

 

This park is a city park and is adjacent to Prairie Park Nature Center and Preserve, just south of Prairie Park Elementary School.

Project Overview

Map of the Project Site

Grassland Heritage Foundation and Native Lands Restoration Collaborative, in partnership with Lawrence Parks and Recreation, Haskell Indian Nations University, and Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education, is leading a new, two-year prairie education and restoration project in Lawrence, KS. We are reviving a five acre piece of parkland by removing trees and invasive plants and re-establishing native prairie plants, engaging our community and volunteers at every step along the way. This project has been generously funded by a grant from the Douglas County Heritage Conservation Council.

Our Prairie Park project will feature:

  • Volunteer workdays and community education events

  • Internships for Haskell Indian Nations University students

  • Field trips for local students

  • The development of an online course for Kansas educators through the Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education

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Spring 2024 Events
Prairie Education and Restoration Volunteer Workdays at Prairie Park

If you are interested in learning about prairie restoration and how we support our existing prairies, these workdays are for you! This fall, we will be continuing the process of removing invasive trees and plants from the site, as well as sharing the importance of protecting our native plants. We need your help to clear away trees and other woody plants that outcompete our native prairie species. No experience needed - we will be there to guide you and answer any questions that you may have.

 

See below for a list of the volunteer restoration workdays we have planned for this coming Spring:

  • CANCELED: Tuesday, April 30, 2024 - 5 pm to 7 pm

  • Saturday, May 11, 2024 - 9 am to Noon

  • Saturday, June 01, 2024 -  9 am to Noon

  • Saturday, June 11, 2024 - 5 pm - 7 pm (rain date for Apr. 30)

If you plan to attend any of the workdays at Prairie Park this spring, please RSVP using the following form: 

RSVPs help us get an accurate count of how may folks plan to attend. We will be sending an email reminder a few days before the event. We will contact you at the email you provide in case we need to reschedule the event due to weather.

Prairie Park is located at 2811 Kensington Road, Lawrence, KS, 66046.

 

This park is a city park and is adjacent to Prairie Park Nature Center and Preserve, just south of Prairie Park Elementary School. The park has restrooms, a large, shaded park shelter, and a playground.

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Please make sure that you come prepared for working outdoors. This includes bringing a water bottle, snacks, bug spray, sun block, and a hat. Be sure to wear long pants and sturdy, close-toed shoes. We will be providing all necessary tools and gloves, but feel free to bring your own if you are more comfortable.

For any questions about upcoming events or about the project, please send an email to GHF at grasslandheritage@gmail.com.

This project has been funded entirely by a grant from the Douglas County Heritage Conservation Council. However, the content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not officially represent the views of the Douglas County Heritage Conservation Council.

Past Prairie Restoration Activities 

Interested in learning what we have been up to over the past six months at Prairie Park?  Read about our efforts over the winter to clean and spread native prairie seeds throughout the prairie restoration.  This action, combined with prescribed burning will help to improve the diversity of the plant community in the restored areas at Prairie Park.  Through reintroducing native prairie species as seeds and as young plants (this spring!), we hope to provide habitat for more pollinators and other insects, thereby increasing the diversity of all other life forms in the prairie!

Notice of 2024 Prescribed Burn
Native Lands Restoration Collaborative, Grassland Heritage Foundation, and the City of Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department conducted prescribed burns at Prairie Park and Prairie Park Nature Center in early 2024.

 

Trained staff burn these fields to help manage grassland at the park sites. Fire is an essential component to the health of the prairie ecosystem. By restoring fire to a landscape, we can knock back trees and other woody species, provide better access for the control of non-native species, and open up space to restore native wildflowers and grasses to the site. Native Lands Restoration Collaborative obtains a burn permit from the City of Lawrence Fire Department for these burns. 


Note: Children, the elderly, and people with existing health conditions such as heart or lung disease may be vulnerable to smoke related health issues. Take precautions during our proposed burn period to limit smoke entering your home. In deciding when to burn, the Burn Supervisor will be taking into account both fire control and weather conditions that will minimize the smoke’s effect on you and your family. 

 

For more information about health and smoke, see this information from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment: https://keap.kdhe.state.ks.us/Ephtm/PortalPages/ContentData?CID=123.

 

If you have questions about the burn permit you may either email Native Lands or Grassland Heritage Foundation or see https://lawrenceks.org/fire-medical/burn-permits/.

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Winter 2023-2024 Events

Seed Cleaning Event

Grassland Heritage Foundation will be joining the Kansas Native Seed Team on Sunday, January 07, 2024 from 1pm-4pm at the East Lawrence Recreation Center for a seed cleaning event!  This event will include seeds that were collected by volunteers to benefit the Prairie Park Restoration Project, along with seeds from several other Seed Team excursions.  

 

Seed cleaning events are an excellent opportunity to engage in important conservation work and enjoy a nature-minded community while cozy indoors!  The seeds we clean will be used in public land restoration efforts across Douglas County.  

 

Please bring a pair of gloves (to protect against spiky seed heads), a water bottle and a light snack if you wish.  light refreshments will be provided.  Restrooms, water fountains and heating will be on site.  

 

This event has limited spaces, so please register through the link below.  We look forward to seeing you there! 

For more information about The Kansas Native Seed Team, visit https://www.klt.org/kansasnativeseedteam. 

 

Prairie Seeding Event

Join Native Lands Restoration Collaborative and Grassland Heritage Foundation in spreading prairie seed at Prairie Park on Saturday, January 27 from 2pm-4pm!  For those of you who have helped collect native seed this fall, this is an opportunity for you to literally sow your collected seeds! We will gather near the shelter at Prairie Park to learn about the benefits of overseeding prairies and how adding additional species to a prairie restoration is ecologically beneficial.  No experience necessary, and all ages welcome.  This is a particularly delightful experience for our youngest friends!  Please RSVP for this event by completing the  following form:

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Lawrence East Rec Center is located at 1245 E 15th St, Lawrence, KS, 66044.

 

Prairie Park is located at 2811 Kensington Road, Lawrence, KS, 66046.

 

This park is a city park and is adjacent to Prairie Park Nature Center and Preserve, just south of Prairie Park Elementary School. The park has restrooms, a large, shaded park shelter, and a playground.

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