While only 37 acres, La Petite Gemme Prairie supports 335 native plant species. Photo: Christine Chiu
La Petite Gemme
About La Petite Gemme
This 37-acre original prairie near Bolivar, MO in Polk County takes its name, meaning little gem, from the French heritage of Missouri. It is located at Mile 32 along the Frisco Highline Trail that runs 35 miles from Springfield to Bolivar. MPF acquired this prairie in 1974.
La Petite Gemme Prairie is mostly a limestone/dolomite prairie community, a very uncommon type of prairie that has some similarities with limestone/dolomite glades.
La Petite Gemme Prairie is a designated Missouri Natural Area, dedicated in 1977. This very diverse prairie supports 335 native plant species with an average CC value of 4.28, and an incredible 53 conservative plant species—the most on any MPF prairie. During a 2015 survey by botanists, an amazing 38 plant species were recorded in one quadrat measuring only 20 by 20 inches (¼ square meter). The prairie mole cricket, a Missouri species of conservation concern, has been found here, as well as the northern bobwhite, Henslow’s sparrow, and scissor-tailed flycatcher.
2019 Missouri River Bird Observatory Breeding Bird Surveys on MPF Properties (includes La Petite Gemme Prairie)
La Petite Gemme Prairie is managed by the Missouri Department of Conservation in partnership with MPF.
La Petite Gemme Prairie is located in Polk County on Evans Road, about 2 miles south of Bolivar. From the intersection of Highway 13 and Highway 83, take the west access road (Springfield Ave) south about 1 mile. The road turns sharply west; continue west on this road (E473/Evans Road) about .8 miles until it dead-ends at the parking area. By GPS, N37 33.881 W93 24.605 (in decimal degrees, 37.56470 -93.41010).
Address: 1200 E 473rd Rd, Bolivar, MO 65613
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—to be matched up to $25,000 from an additional gift from the Markers—will help us raise $50,000 in 2021 restricted to this project, which includes acquisition, restoration, and stewardship of this remarkable 400-acre property.