The Missouri Prairie Foundation will dedicate The Rae Letsinger Prairie in Newton County, near the town of Sarcoxie, Missouri, on Saturday, July 24, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. The public is invited to this free afternoon event, which will include a guided tour of this original, unplowed prairie. Please RSVP online here, or contact us at email@example.com or 888-843-6739.
In May 2020, the Missouri Prairie Foundation purchased this 68-acre prairie, which is part of the historic Sarcoxie Prairie, for the purpose of preserving its biodiversity in perpetuity and making it available for the public to enjoy.
The property is named for the late Rae Letsinger, whose sister, Joan Letsinger, purchased naming rights to honor her brother. Though not trained as an entomologist, Rae became an expert in Lepidoptera (especially moths), and through his lifetime accumulated one of the largest private insect collections in Missouri, specializing in moths of southwestern Missouri, with more than 22,000 specimens of more than 1,400 species.
Following remarks, dedication, and light refreshments under a tent, guests will have the opportunity to join a guided tour of the prairie led by Missouri Prairie Foundation Vice President of Science & Management Bruce Schuette.
The Missouri Prairie Foundation purchased The Rae Letsinger Prairie from the Pauline Gillett Trust with Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) funding awarded to the organization in 2013. NRDAR award funds, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, were made available as a result of a NRDA settlement with ASARCO, a lead mining and smelting company whose operations caused environmental damage while it operated in southwestern Missouri over the last century.
Directions: The Rae Letsinger Prairie is in Newton County southwest of Sarcoxie, on the northeast corner of the Terrier Rd and Aspen Rd intersection. Park on the side of the road. By GPS: N37 2.285 W94 9.032 (in decimal degrees, 37.038062 -94.150524).