Fringed poppy mallow grows at MPF’s Rae Letsinger Prairie, one of many prairie plants that attract insects like this checkered skipper. Photo: Bruce Schuette
Rae Letsinger Prairie
About Rae Letsinger Prairie
In May 2020, MPF purchased this 68-acre original, unplowed prairie near Sarcoxie. The prairie is named for the late Rae Letsinger, whose sister, Joan Letsinger, purchased naming rights to honor her brother. Though not trained as an entomologist, Rae was a moth expert, and through his lifetime he accumulated one of the largest collections of identified moth species in Missouri, with more than 22,000 specimens.
Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration (NRDAR) funding awarded to MPF allowed for this prairie acquisition. NRDAR award funds, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, were made available as a result of a NRDAR settlement with ASARCO, a lead mining and smelting company whose operations caused environmental damage while it operated in southwestern Missouri over the last century.
This prairie, in a hay regime for decades, supports many prairie-dependent plants, including blue hearts (Buchnera americana), fringed poppy mallow (Callirhoe digitata), and Barbara’s buttons (Marshallia caespitosa). MPF will be implementing annual, rotational prescribed fire to the property and will carry out tree thinning on a wooded portion of the property to expand prairie habitat. The Rae Letsinger Prairie is about 7 miles east of MPF’s Noah Brown’s Prairie.
2020 Floristic Integrity Report: Coyne, Golden, Linden’s, and Rae Letsinger Prairies by the Institute of Botanical Training, LLC.
Rae Letsinger Prairie is in Newton County southwest of Sarcoxie, on the northeast corner of the Terrier Rd and Aspen Rd intersection. Park on the side of the road. By GPS, N37 2.285 W94 9.032 (in decimal degrees, 37.038062 -94.150524).
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.