Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

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This article is about the national preserve in Kansas. For the preserve in Oklahoma, see Tallgrass Prairie Preserve. For the preserve in Manitoba, see Manitoba Tall Grass Prairie Preserve.
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
Map showing the location of Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
Map showing the location of Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
Location Chase County, Kansas
Nearest city Emporia, Kansas
Coordinates 38°25′58″N 96°33′32″W / 38.43278°N 96.55889°W / 38.43278; -96.55889Coordinates: 38°25′58″N 96°33′32″W / 38.43278°N 96.55889°W / 38.43278; -96.55889
Area 10,894 acres (44.09 km2)
Established November 12, 1996
Visitors 17,615 (in 2005)
Governing body National Park Service, The Nature Conservancy
Website Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is a United States National Preserve located in the Flint Hills region of Kansas, north of Strong City. The preserve protects a nationally significant example of the once vast tallgrass prairie ecosystem. Of the 400,000 square miles (1,000,000 km2) of tallgrass prairie that once covered the North American continent, less than 4% remains, primarily in the Flint Hills.[1] Since 2009, the preserve has been home to the growing Tallgrass Prairie bison herd.[2]


Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is a new kind of national park. The preserve is 10,894 acres (44 km2), but most of that land will remain under the ownership of The Nature Conservancy, which purchased the land in 2005. The National Park Service may own up to 180 acres (0.7 km2), yet the legislation calls for the entire area to be managed cooperatively by the National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy.

On September 20, 2002, approximately 32 acres (129,000 m2) were donated to the National Park Service from the National Park Trust who was the private landowner at the time. This area includes the 1881 historic ranch house, limestone barn and outbuildings, and one-room schoolhouse.

Tallgrass Prairie is the nation's second newest national preserve and the park is still under development with visitor opportunities continually being expanded.

There are currently five maintained hiking trails in the preserve allowing visitors access to the tallgrass prairie. During the summer, narrated bus tours of the prairie are offered.

On January 29, 2008, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve was named as one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas.

In 2009, The Nature Conservancy introduced a small herd of bison into the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.[3]

Entry sign to visitor center at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Kansas
Stormy sky Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Kansas

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 This article incorporates public domain material from the National Recreation Reservation Service document "Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, KS" (retrieved on 2016-11-20).

  1. ^ Christian, Shirley (July 26, 1998). "A Prairie Home.". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-04-15. Almost a century and a half later, an unusual three-way accord involving the Federal Government, a private nonprofit organization and big-time cattlemen allowed me to experience the same scene amid the nearly 11,000 acres (45 km2) of rolling hills that form the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, one of the few large tracts of virgin prairie left in the United States. While the traveler of long ago saw bison in the distance, today's tourists share the prairie with thousands of head of cattle shipped into Kansas every spring to fatten on the nutritious bluestem grasses. 
  2. ^ http://www.nps.gov/tapr/naturescience/upload/TAPRBisonFact2012.pdf
  3. ^ Alison Rogers (February–March 2010). "Bringing Bison Back to the Prairie". Mother Earth News. Retrieved 2010-04-21. 

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