Blazing star (Liatris pycnostachya) blooming at Goodnight-Henry Prairie. Photo: Bruce Schuette
About Goodnight-Henry Prairie
In June 2021, the Missouri Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (TNC) donated three properties to MPF, including this 40-acre prairie in Pettis County. The other two TNC-donated properties are Shelton L. Cook Meadow Memorial Meadow in Barton County and Rockhill Prairie in Benton County.
“As The Nature Conservancy’s global priorities have evolved to include food and water security, addressing the climate crisis, and building healthy cities—along with protecting biodiversity—we increasingly seek alliances with partners to collectively advance the conservation we all envision for the future,” said Adam McLane, TNC’s Missouri State Director. “We recognize the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s leadership in excellent prairie stewardship. We know that these three properties will be in good hands and that the Foundation’s supporters will enjoy them.”
Goodnight-Henry Prairie honors the last names of two female family members of Mrs. Franklin, the donor of the land to TNC in 1991. This 40-acre, unplowed, gently rolling dry-mesic chert prairie (S3) has a prairie swale and has more than 200 documented plant species. Goodnight-Henry Prairie shows a high level of floristic integrity. A TNC plant list from 7/8/1994 shows 206 native species (225 total plant species) with an average native Coefficient of Conservatism value of 4.00 and 23 remnant-dependent plant species. Recent surveys have also documented populations of the state listed regal fritillary butterfly. This site provides important habitat for these butterflies, which also travel to other protected prairies in the area, including MPF’s Friendly and Drovers’ Prairies. Another animal of conservation concern—the northern crawfish frog (S3)— has been recorded here as well.
The prairie is located along Rt. U, just south of the intersection with Rt. V, east of Hwy. 65 and approximately 10 miles south of Sedalia, in Pettis County, MO. Legal description: SE1/4 of NE1/4, section 22, T44N, R21W