American feverfew, also known as wild quinine (Parthenium integrifolium), is one of many prairie plants documented at the Benton County Prairie. Photo by Bruce Schuette

Benton County Prairie

About Benton County Prairie

On December 28, 2022, MPF purchased its 31st property—an original, unplowed prairie in eastern Benton County, 4.5 miles southwest of Stover, Missouri. This acquisition was made possible thanks to a grant from the Missouri Department of Conservation Land Conservation Partnership Grant: Land Acquisition Program and a gift from MPF lifetime member Rudi Roeslein. 

This 40-acre property contains a 30-acre old-growth prairie remnant noted in the Missouri Natural Heritage Database as having high plant diversity, and one of only six prairies in the state with an “A” ranking for biological integrity. This upland, dry-mesic chert prairie contains a swale, which increase habitat diversity. MPF’s stewardship of the site will include rotational prescribed fire, removal of invading woody vegetation, and spot treatment of invasive plants. 

This new MPF prairie acquisition has high ecological integrity,” said MPF Vice President of Science & Management Bruce Schuette, “and I can’t wait to see it this spring and summer, especially after MPF’s first prescribed burn in late December 2022. This prairie‘s conservation significance is enhanced by being only the second prairie in conservation ownership in the Prairie Ozark Border subsection of the Ozark Highlands, which was 80% prairie at the time of Euro-American settlement.” 

The only other prairie in conservation ownership in the Prairie Ozark Border subsection is the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Hite Prairie Conservation Area in Versailles, Missouri. From The Atlas of Missouri Ecoregions (2002), authors Nigh and Schroeder wrote “Tallgrass prairie originally covered 80 percent of this subsection….Only the Springfield Plain would have had a comparable extent of prairie within the Ozark Highlands Section.”

As with all MPF properties, this prairie is open to the public to enjoy on foot. 

Naming rights are available for this prairie and for MPF’s Northwest Lawrence County Prairie. For more information, call 573-356-7828.


Benton County Prairie is located 4.5 miles southwest of Stover, MO.

From Stover, take State Highway 52 west about four miles and take a left on Blackberry Patch Rd. Travel on Blackberry Patch Rd less than 800 feet and turn south on Rush Road for about two miles to the intersection of Almond Rd and turn right on Almond. Benton County Prairie is on the north side of Almond Rd after you turn. By GPS, 38°24’35.8878″N 93°04’20.8164″W (in decimal degrees, 38.409969, -93.072449).

From Rush Road, turn right or West on Almond and the prairie will be on the north side of the road. 

From Cole Camp, go east on 52 for about 5 miles, then south (right) on Highway W for 1.5 miles. At the sharp curve, take a left on Boeschenville Rd and go south and then the first left on Almond.

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