MPF purchased two tracts of original prairie in 1970 and 1974 totaling 320 acres, naming it Golden Prairie in recognition of its proximity to Golden City. This prairie had been owned for decades by the family of the late MPF Emeritus Board Member Lowell Pugh. Photo: Bruce Schuette
About Golden Prairie
MPF purchased two tracts of original prairie in 1970 and 1974 totalling 320 acres, naming it Golden Prairie in recognition of its proximity to Golden City. This prairie had been owned for decades by the family of the late MPF Emeritus Board Member Lowell Pugh.
In May 1975, Golden Prairie was declared a National Natural Landmark by the National Park. In 2002, MPF purchased two adjacent tracts totaling 310 and they are being restored. In 2015, the original 320-acre portion of Golden Prairie was designated the Golden Prairie Natural Area and is included in the Missouri Natural Areas program, a designation reserved for only the highest quality natural landscapes. A history of Golden Prairie was published in the summer 2015 issue of the Missouri Prairie Journal (Vol. 36, No. 2).
Golden Prairie is a dry-mesic sandstone/shale prairie natural community and includes rare prairie swales and a segment of a prairie headwater stream. Golden Prairie supports 320 native plant species with an average CC value of 4.06, and 35 conservative species.
Species of conservation concern here include the regal fritillary butterfly, prairie mole cricket, rattlesnake master stem borer moth, and Arkansas darter. Missouri species of conservation concern. Grassland birds including the northern bobwhite and Henslow’s sparrow nest here, and short-eared owls frequently use Golden in winter. In addition, notable native bees that are specialists on poppy mallow (the Callirhoe bee, Melissodes intorta), and blue sage bee (Tetraloniella cressoniana), have been documented at Golden in 2014, only the second time these species had been found in Missouri. In addition, Tetraloniella spissa, related to the blue sage bee, was found for the first time in Missouri at Golden in 2014.
2014 Institute for Botanical Training Golden Prairie Floristic Integrity Report (includes Golden Prairie)
2019 Missouri River Bird Observatory Breeding Bird Surveys on MPF Properties (includes Golden Prairie)
Audio file: Spring peepers, boreal chorus frogs calling at Golden Prairie, and southern leopard frogs and American toads calling nearby, recorded by MPF Board Member Brian Edmond.
Golden Prairie is in Barton County on SE 90th Road, about 2 miles south of Golden City. Traveling north on I-49, take exit 66, turn east onto State Highway K, and drive about 8.5 miles. Turn left onto SE 90th Lane, drive 2 miles north, turn left onto SE 90th Road, then drive about 1/2 mile west. Traveling south on I-49, take exit 70, turn east onto Missouri 126, and drive about 6 miles. Turn right onto State Highway T, drive 2 miles south, turn left onto SE 90th Road, then drive about 2 1/2 miles east. The prairie is on the south side of the road. Two gravel parking areas are available.
To visit the sandstone prairie on the east side of the property, use GPS N37 21.918 W94 8.745 (in decimal degrees, 37.365300, -094.145750). To visit the limestone prairie on the west side of the property, use GPS N37 21.929 W94 9.285 (in decimal degrees, 37.365483, -94.154750).
Be a Part of the 2020 Marker Match Campaign
Recognizing the importance of the work MPF does to project prairies and expand prairie plantings, MPF lifetime members Susan Lordi Marker and Dennis Marker will match—to $20,000 —all donations of any amount given in 2020 to support prairie protection and prairie plantings.