MPF’s first prairie purchase was Friendly Prairie, in 1969. Photo: Bruce Schuette

Friendly Prairie

About Friendly PrairiE

This 40-acre prairie was MPF’s first acquisition, purchased in 1969. It is named for the historic use of the site as an informal stop for travelers. Friendly Prairie is part of the Cole Camp/Hi Lonesome Conservation Opportunity Area and the Cole Camp Important Bird Area. It is approximately one mile north of MPF’s Drovers’ Prairie, two miles southwest of the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC’s) Paint Brush Prairie Conservation Area (314 acres), and four miles northwest of Hi Lonesome Prairie Conservation Area (627 acres). 

Friendly Prairie is a dry-mesic chert prairie. There is a small prairie swale in the north central portion of the prairie. A small population of the federally threatened Mead’s milkweed (Asclepias meadii), and four state-listed species of conservation concern—the native bee Andrena beameri, the regal fritillary butterfly, the rattlesnake master stem borer moth, and the prairie mole cricket—have been found here. So far, 305 native plant species have been recorded from this prairie with an average CC of 4.11 and 37 conservative species. Numerous grassland birds have been recorded at Friendly Prairie.

Friendly Prairie is open to the public for hiking, nature viewing, and hunting. State hunting regulations apply.

2018 Missouri River Bird Observatory Breeding Bird Surveys on MPF Properties (includes Friendly Prairie)


Friendly Prairie is located in Pettis County on Manila Road, about 11 miles south of Sedalia. From Highway 65, take Manila Road west 1.5 miles to the parking area. By GPS, N38 33.016 W93 17.768 (in decimal degrees, 38.55027 -93.29613). 

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

An extraordinary $1 million lead gift from Susan Lordi Marker and her husband Dennis Marker, along with other generous gifts and financial backing from MPF, made this new MPF acquisition possible. Your gift of any amount will help us raise necessary funds restricted to this project, which includes purchase cost, restoration, and stewardship of this remarkable 400-acre property.