Bright red-orange indian paintbrush flowers and bright purple flowers in a green field

Wildflowers at MPF’s new Lordi Marker Prairie. Photo: Walter Moser

A Missouri Bicentennial Project: Protection & Restoration of MPF’s 400-acre Lordi Marker Prairie

$2.2 Million Fundraising Goal Met!

MPF is extremely grateful to everyone who made gifts toward our Lordi Marker Prairie project in 2020 and 2021. This fundraising campaign—which included the purchase price, short-term restoration, and long-term stewardship of this 400-acre property between MPF’s Friendly and Drovers’ prairies in Pettis County—was first made possible thanks to the extraordinary $1 million gift from Susan Lordi Marker and her husband Dennis Marker.

We began putting our restoration and stewardship plan for this property, which includes nearly 100 acres of original, remnant prairie, into place last year and we are excited to continue carrying out our conservation work at this special site. Thank you!

Dennis with arm around Susan in their prairie, blooming bright green and yellow, with a pond in the background

“We are supporting this Bicentennial Prairie Project because the Missouri Prairie Foundation accomplishes what it sets out to do,” said Susan. “Not only does the organization have passion for prairie, but is run by a very dedicated, hard-working group of people that follows through on its goals. Dennis and I have been very impressed, and we know that our gift will be well spent.”

“We all benefit when prairie is protected,” said Dennis. “Our passion for prairie landscapes—and the cherished wildlife that depend on them—has grown beyond what we enjoy now, during our lifetimes, to making a difference in what is protected for the benefit of our children, grandchildren, and all future generations of Missourians.”

Photo: Susan Lordi Marker and Dennis Marker by Rick Kraft

The Missouri Prairie Foundation, a 55-year-old land trust, is part of a coalition of entities committed to developing projects, programs, and events that commemorate Missouri’s 200 years of statehood this year. In a salute to Missouri’s Bicentennial, this year MPF began restoration and stewardship of 400 acres of this 400-acre property.

This new MPF acquisition, which includes nearly 100 acres of original, unplowed prairie, was made possible thanks to an extraordinary $1 million lead gift from Susan Lordi Marker and her husband Dennis, gifts from other supporters, and financial backing from MPF. You are invited to support this project, as well!

This new MPF property—named the Lordi Marker Prairie—links two MPF properties—the 40-acre Friendly Prairie, the organization’s first acquisition in 1969; and the 80-acre Drovers’ Prairie, purchased in 1981—creating 520 acres of prairie and native grassland habitat just 14 miles south of Sedalia, MO and 100 miles southeast of Kansas City, MO. The Lordi Marker Prairie is within a Missouri Conservation Opportunity Area and an Audubon Important Bird Area—a key region for landscape-scale prairie and native grassland conservation.

Two maps of Missouri, the first one with large sections of dark orange representing 15 million acres of prairie pre-settlement, and the second map with very little dark orange, showing the fewer than 60,000 scattered acres of prairie today

Until statehood in 1821, Missouri had up to 15 million acres of prairie. Today, fewer than 50,000 scattered acres—or less than ½ of 1%—remain. 

Until the time of Missouri statehood in 1821, 73% of Pettis County—or 496 square miles—was prairie. Nearly all the original, unplowed prairie in Pettis County and throughout Missouri is gone today, with the land broken by sprawl, row crops, and other development. The Lordi Marker Prairie is a wonderful opportunity in historic Osage Plains prairie country to protect and restore 400 hundred acres of land for present and future generations to enjoy.

MPF’s planned restoration work at this property includes removal of encroaching trees on the remnant prairie, conversion of tall fescue to native prairie plantings, restoration of a riparian corridor, and creation of small ephemeral wetlands to support grassland amphibians and migrating shorebirds. MPF is also planning to establish wildflower plots on a portion of the property for seed collection, to support restoration efforts throughout the Conservation Opportunity Area. MPF may also establish native pastures to demonstrate conservation grazing.


Missouri 2021 Bicentennial logo reading "Past. Present. Future." with an image of the state of Missouri

MPF is extremely grateful for the following MPF Missouri Bicentennial Project gifts:

Susan Lordi Marker & Dennis Marker

$200,000 & above
Missouri Department of Conservation Land Acquisition Program Grant
Rudi Roeslein
Estate of Edgar Schmidt

$50,000 & above
Sunderland Foundation

$40,000 & above
Ron & Sue Berry
MPF Land Acquisition Fund
Gina Miller & Laura Hammond

$20,000 & above
Dr. Bibie Chronwall
William T. Kemper Foundation
Edward K. Love Conservation Foundation
Terrence Raterman

$10,000 & above
David Marker
Clark Mitchell
Emily Pulitzer

$5,000 & above
Martha & Rex Hill in Memory of Pat & Jack Harris
Ann Rankin Horton & Bob Horton
Margo Farnsworth & Jim Pascoe in Memory of Doc & Glo Pascoe
Susan & Tuck Spaulding
Howard Wood

$2,500 & above
Dale & Marla Blevins
Maureen Purcell & David Hustead
Glenn & Judy Longworth
Linda Williams

$1,000 & above
Jacquelyn Ballard
Kenneth Barnard
Robert & Martha Barnhardt
Mark Belwood
Mark J. Brodkey
Robert & Christina Campbell
Karen & Paul Cox
Susan Dyer
Wesley Fordyce
Thomas Hall
Gerald & Fonda Hereford
Chris & Tricia Jerome
Jerome & Billie Jerome
Timothy Lang Rogers
Cheryl Marcum
Michael McMullen
Wayne Morton
Barbara Oelke
Jerry Overton
River Bluffs Audubon Society in Memory of Christie Lundy
David Van Dyne
Randall Washburn
Carol Wilson
David & Judy Young
Mark Zurbrick

$500 & above
Lisa & David Beckwith
Suzanne Crandall
Deatz Family Fund
Ann Earley & Bob Siemer
Casey Galvin
James Gardner & Elizabeth Cook
Dennis Gredell & Lori Wohlschlaeger
Robert Hansen
Edward Heisel
Dr. Sally Hubbard
Orbie Overly
Carrie & William Polk
Susan & George Powell
Arlene Segal
Anna Slawsky
Rheba Symeonoglou
Julia Thoma
Andrew Williams & Rebecca Christoffel

$100 & above
Chris Ahrens
Kathleen Anderson
Christine Angelo
Nancy Appel
Richard Armstrong
Mary Randolph Ballinger
Deborah Barker
Dennis & Terri Barnicle
Anastasia Becker
Pat Behle
Patricia Bellington
Nick Bertram
Anita Berwanger & Harley Scheidegger
Kathleen Bildner
Sylvia Bradley
W.A. & Joan Brock
Larry & Kathy Bunse
Fred & Susan Burk
Dale & Connie Carpentier
Linda Childers
Laura Church
Marty Clark
R.M. Clark
Suzanne Crandall
Heather Cwach
Sue Ellen Davis
Ronald Dellbringge
Timothy Dickson & Jennifer Hopwood
Harold & Jill Draper
William & Hope Eddleman
Henry & Ursula Eilers
James & Barbara Faupel
James A. Felts
Mary & Lisa Fink
Howard & Sara Fleming
Monica & Steve Fox
David Galat
Thomas Ganfield
Richard Glessner
Bonnie Goldberg
Darin Groll
William Haag
Cheryl-Ann Hardy
Jane & Allan Haslag
Holey Haven Fund of the Door County Community Foundation, Inc
Emily & Paul Horner
Larry Houf & Jody Ebely
Ellen Howard
Christopher Hull
Suzanne Hunt
Larry & Judith Jackson
Celia Llopis-Jepsen
Edward & Rita Kallal
Nicholas Kappas
John Karel
Jerry Kellum
Jay Kelly
Jean Keskulla & George Stalker
Kevin King
Amy Klaas
Ruddell Krohn
Jeffrey Lane
Theodore & Meryl Lange
Mark Leedy
Mark & Patricia Loehnig
Marge Lumpe
Timothy & Trana Madsen
Aubrey Martin
Fred McQueary
Larry & Belinda Mechlin
John W. Mills
Emily O’Neal
Bruce & Patricia Palmer
Cynthia Pederson
Paul Petty
Alex & Cathy Primm
Natalie Prussing Halpin
Vickie & Simon Pursifull
Susan Pyle
Mark Robbins
Jason & Amy Rogers
Charles Salveter
Donald & Jan Sessions
Darra Simpson 
Jeannine Steinhoff
Barry & Linda Stuart
Ian & Ellen Thomas
Thomas Toney
Alice Turk
David & Jennifer Urich
Thomas Vaughn
Joan Warden
Mary Weinstein
James Wells
Janice Wiese-Fales
Louise Wilkinson
Judy Yoder

$10 to $99
Cyrla & Lyle Alderson
Alan & Paula Alshouse
Dakota Altman
Mike & Patty Ardis
Darlene Arnett
Rosalie Ast
Bernadette Basham
Bruce Beck
Renee Benage
Dennis & Marilyn Bettenhausen
Olivia & Paul Cackler
Franine & Harvey Cantor
Ann Case
Lucy Church
Kelly & Greg Deline
Gail & Robert DeGunia
Ronald & Valerie Dent
Joe & Betty Dillard
Dorothea Donnell Lingle
Jane & Bill Dunehew
Frank Dvorak
Ray Wilber & Cathy Dwigans
Robert Elworth
Clyde & Glenda Eppard
Jean Feltz
Robin Frank
Robert & Lynn Fuerst
David Gamet
Rich & Pat Glessner
Joseph & Gregory Godi
David & Lynne Gronefeld
Jason & Jane Hennessey
Todd & Susan Higgins
Dennis & Mary Lynn Hogan
Steven Hollenbeck
Mary Hopkins
Suzanne Hunt
Melodie Husted
Jeff & Melody Irle
Daniel Isom
Jeffrey Johnson
Mary Jones
Janet Kister
Karl & Laurie Kleen
Mary Kriegshauser
Linda Lehrbaum
Matthew Leonard
Patty Lindgren
David & Rosemarie Magaw
Marcel Maupin
Tom & Phebe McCutcheon
Veronica Mecko
Carole & Gary Mehl
Robert & Florence Middleton
Thomas & Anne Moreland
Elizabeth Myers
Ronnie Nelson
Philip & Gayle O’Hare
James Pandjiris
Mark & Bari Phipps
Daniel Pixler
Alex & Cathy Primm
Susan Reed
Jeanna Reiss
Sharon Ricker
John & Cynthia Roeslein
Michael Roper
Thomas & Carman Roseburg
Mary Clasby-Agee & Jordan Sabotic
Doug & Jeanette Salzman
Jane Schaefer
Dave & Laura Schmidt
Don & Deborah Schultehenrich
Mary Phillips & James D. Scott
Eric Seaman
Roberta Settergren
Shelley Shipley
Stephanie Sigala
Michael Skinner
Carol Spurlock
John & Martha Stewart
Michael & Esther Stroh
Mary Stuppy
Mark & RitaMarie Thomas
Gary Schimmelpfenig & Christine Torlina
Chip Tynan & 
Suze Stark
James Van Eman
Louise Wienckowski
Philip Wire
Judith & Duane Woltjen
Danny & Diana Wright
Samuel Yoder

Small brown, yellow, and gray bird perching on a twig with a green caterpillar in beak

Dickcissel by Bruce Schuette. The Lordi Marker Prairie is within the Cole Camp Prairies Important Bird Area.

Close up photo of a spiraling green stem with small white flowers

Common ladies tresses (Spiranthes cernua) by Bruce Schuette.

Silhouette of a hummingbird hovering above bright orange indian paintbrush flowers

Hummingbird visiting painted-cup paintbrush (Castilleja coccinea) at the Lordi Marker Prairie, by Walter Moser.

Young boy in an orange shirt and bucket hat places a marker flag in the prairie during a bio blitz event

All MPF prairies are open to the public for all to enjoy. Photo by Noppadol Paothong

close up of dark, rich purple flower with 5 petals

Find prairie treasures in all seasons, like this Downy gentian (Gentiana puberulenta), which blooms in the fall. Photo by Bruce Schuette

Regal fritillary butterflies, orange and brown with white spots, on bright orange butterfly weed plants

Regal fritillary butterflies on butterfly milkweed by Bruce Schuette.