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Thursday, September 4, 2008

Native Plant Weekend at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

On September 13 and 14, members of the Kansas Native Plant Society will partner with Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve to present a wide variety of programs, hikes, and activities showcasing the fall plants and wildflowers of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem. On Saturday, Mike Haddock, editor of Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses, will lead a presentation on photographing tallgrass prairie wildflowers and grasses at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. followed by tallgrass prairie ecology and native plant identification hikes at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tallgrass prairie ecology and native plant identification hikes are scheduled hourly from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. with medicinal and edible plant hikes scheduled at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. Bottomland prairie restoration hikes and talks are scheduled from 10:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. along the Bottomland Trail. Visitors also have the opportunity to learn how to make paper using native plants and natural dyes from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. in the historic limestone barn, with special presentations at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
On Sunday, September 14th the fun continues with bottomland prairie restoration hikes and talks from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. along the Bottomland Trail. Native plant dyeing and spinning demonstrations will be held in the historic limestone barn from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hour-long tallgrass prairie ecology and native plant identification hikes will be presented at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., and 2 p.m. From 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. a wildflower identification presentation will be given by Jeff Hansen, former president of the Kansas Native Plant Society. Visitors can learn more about the Kansas Native Plant Society by visiting the information booth in the historic limestone barn available both days or go to EXPERI E N CE YOUR AMERICA The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that all may experience our heritage.
Kids learn the importance of and skills necessary to "Leave No Trace" as they complete the Leave No Trace Scavenger Hunt using a pencil and piece of paper. Upon completion, kids earn a special Leave No Trace patch. Program is available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days of the special event.
A 6.4-mile bus tour of the preserve’s more remote backcountry is available at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. daily through October 26, 2008. The cost is $5.00 per adult and $3.00 for ages 5 – 18 years. There is no charge for children age 4 and under. Advance reservations for the bus tours are recommended, but arrangements can be made on the day of the visit if space is available. For more information, please call the park rangers’ offices at (620) 273-8494.
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is a public/private partnership with the National Park Service, The Nature Conservancy, and the Kansas Park Trust. Located two miles north of Strong City on Kansas State Highway 177 (the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway), the preserve’s historic ranch headquarters is open daily from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. For more information or to make group reservations, visit the preserve’s website at, e-mail, or call the preserve at (620) 273-8494.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

KNPS Annual Wildflower Weekend

October 3rd, 4th, and 5th in Hays, KS

The theme this year is “Ethnobotany – cultural uses of native plants”. Highlights of the weekend include our silent auction and photo contest, as well as the following.
Presentation: “Native medicinal plants of the prairie”
Presentation: “Dyeing wool with native plants”
Tour Site 1 Private Ranch north of Hays: Site of Echinacea study
Tour Site 2 Cedar Bluff Reservoir - Wildlife Area - Bluffs
Tour Site 3 Wilson Reservoir – Lucas Park - Rocktown Natural Area