Rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium). Photo: Mervin wallace

Northwest Lawrence County Prairie

About Northwest Lawrence County Prairie

MPF purchased this 40-acre property in 2018. Funding for this acquisition came from a 2013 award administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. These two agencies are trustees of a Natural Resources Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) program to administer funds from a settlement with ASARCO, a lead mining and smelting company whose operations created environmental damage while it operated in Jasper and Newton Counties over the last century.

Northwest Lawrence County Prairie contains 34 acres of remnant dry-mesic chert prairie, which had been hayed annually by the previous landowner for many years. Since acquisition, MPF  has initiated annual burning on a portion of the site. 

A small swale runs through the northwestern portion of the prairie. About 6 acres of brush along the eastern edge is being removed. 

Initial botanical surveys document 187 native species on the prairie, with an average CC of 4.68 and 39 conservative plant species. They include Indian plantain (Arnoglossum plantagineum), ground plum (Astragalus crassicarpus), cream wild indigo (Baptisia bracteata), false toadflax (Comandra umbellata), finger coreopsis (Coreopsis palmata), rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium), prairie trout lily (Erythronium mesochoreum), prairie parsley (Polytaenia nuttallii), shooting star (Primula media), and downy gentian (Gentiana puberulenta). 

Other notable plant species include Mead’s sedge (Carex meadii) and prairie blazing star (Liatris pycnostachya).

Naming rights for this prairie are available for purchase, and help fund MPF’s prairie protection work. Please call 573-356-7828 to inquire. 

2020 Missouri River Bird Observatory Breeding Bird Surveys on MPF Properties  (includes NW Lawrence Prairie, referred to as Thomas Prairie in the survey)

2019 Missouri River Bird Observatory Breeding Bird Surveys on MPF Properties (includes NW Lawrence Prairie, referred to as Thomas Prairie in the survey)

2019 Institute of Botanical Training Floristic Integrity Report (includes NW Lawrence County Prairie, referred to as Thomas Prairie in the report) 


Northwest Lawrence County Prairie is in Lawrence County on County Road 2010. From Interstate 44 and Hwy. 97, go north on Hwy 97 approximately 14 miles to Hwy. NN. Take NN west 1.5 miles to County Road 1040 and turn south. After 1 mile on 1040, you will see Providence Prairie Conservation Area to the west, and County Road 2010 to the east. Take 2010 east for 1 mile. Northwest Lawrence County Prairie is on the north side of the road. Park in the southeast corner. By GPS, N37 16.06357 W93 58.21735 (in decimal degrees, 37.2677262, -93.9702892).

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