MPF’s Lattner Prairie includes 100 acres of original prairie and a 20-acre prairie planting. Photo: Bruce Schuette

Lattner Prairie

About Lattner Prairie

MPF acquired the 120-acre Lattner Prairie in two phases: a 100-acre intact prairie remnant was purchased in 1993, and 20 additional acres of degraded land—which have since undergone reconstruction—were purchased in 2001. 

Lattner Prairie is named for the Forrest Lattner family, an MPF financial contributor. Lattner Prairie is adjacent to MPF’s Denison Prairie, separated by a county road (which is also the Vernon/Barton County line) and is three miles west of Sheldon. Lattner and Denison are part of a 620-acre complex that also includes MPF’s 180-acre Pleasant Run Creek Prairie. This complex lies within the Liberal Prairie Conservation Opportunity Area.

Lattner Prairie is a dry-mesic sandstone/shale prairie with a rare prairie swale. Lattner Prairie and the adjoining Denison Prairie support 299 native plant species with an average CC value of 4.05, and 33 conservative species. Grassland birds including the northern bobwhite, Bell’s vireo, and Henslow’s sparrows nest here. 

2020 Missouri River Bird Observatory Breeding Bird Surveys on MPF Properties

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


Lattner Prairie is in Vernon County on Zodiac Road, about 3 miles west of Sheldon.  From I-49, take exit 88 and turn south on the outer road on the west side of the highway.  Drive 1 mile south till the road turns west and becomes Zodiac Road, then continue west for 3 miles.  The prairie is on the north side of the road. Park on the side of the gravel road; although there are several dirt entrances, parking in these areas is discouraged due to soil erosion. By GPS, N37 38.908 W94 21.543 (in decimal degrees, 37.648467, -094.359050).

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.