Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

July 15, 2014Landscapes

You may already know the story of North America’s forgotten prairie: 170 million acres of native grasslands nearly lost in just one generation, precipitating the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. But you may not know the story of how 11,000 acres of that native landscape —most of the just 4% remaining — are being preserved through the National Park Service.

In the Kansas Flint Hills, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is easily accessed by anyone near Kansas City, Wichita, and Topeka — and well worth the detour for any cross-country road-tripper. Here, you can embrace the sweeping vistas that inspired the hopefulness of American settlers, see a growing bison herd roam as they once did across the heart of the country, and tour a historic ranch to learn about the real cowboys that kept these acres alive for generations.

Whatever you do, be sure to get up close and appreciate the prairie’s extraordinary diversity, including hundreds of native grasses and flowers and myriad wildlife. That appreciation is vital to the prairie’s future. Find out more about this unique landscape at nps.gov/tapr.

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