Where We Work
The Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF) has protected more than 4,000 acres of prairie (700 acres conveyed to the Missouri Department of Conservation) and now owns more than 3,300 acres of prairie in 21 tracts around the state. Most are original remnants with a high level of native biodiversity; Prairie Fork Expansion Area, Runge Prairie, Bruns Tract, Joplin Urban Prairie, and the Welsch Tract are restorations/reconstructions.
MPF prairies are open to the public for hiking and nature viewing only. Three MPF prairies are open to public hunting, and state hunting regulations apply: Gayfeather, Friendly, and Drovers’. All other uses require written permission. MPF does organize special camping events, such as our annual Prairie BioBlitz, and special hunting events such as youth hunts, at specific times during the year. For more information call 888-843-6739.
MPF properties are beautiful landscapes that provide habitat for hundreds of plant species, thousands of invertebrates, and dozens of vertebrate animals, as well as 20 species of conservation concern. Consult plant species lists and other species inventories from our prairies. MPF manages its lands with periodic, prescribed fire and control of invasive plants, which includes tree and brush removal, and herbicide treatment of cut stumps, tall fescue, sericea lespedeza, and other plants that can degrade prairie habitat. The Missouri Department of Conservation provides management services for several MPF properties.
Most MPF properties lie within Grassland Conservation Opportunity Areas, designated as the best remaining areas in the state to direct resources for landscape-scale prairie conservation, and several lie within Audubon Important Bird Areas.
Ecologists rank temperate grasslands—which include Missouri’s tallgrass prairies—as the least conserved, most threatened major terrestrial habitat type on earth. Prairie protection efforts in Missouri, therefore, are not only essential to preserving our state’s natural heritage, but also are significant to national and even global conservation work. MPF is the only organization in the state whose land conservation efforts are dedicated exclusively to prairie and other native grasslands.
In addition to managing its properties, MPF also provides management services for prairies of several partners, including the Missouri Department of Conservation, The Nature Conservancy, Ozark Regional Land Trust, and individual private landowners in key geographies.
MPF has also supported other native grassland projects, including providing start-up funds in 1980 for Shaw Nature Reserve’s initial tallgrass prairie planting, and financial assistance for the Kennedy Woods Savanna restoration in Forest Park, St. Louis.
Read more about MPF's Prairie Pearls in this article from the Summer 2017 issue of the Missouri Prairie Journal.
Click on a photo below to read more about each of our prairies, and see them on a map at the bottom of the page. Photos below by Bruce Schuette.