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.
In 2020, botanical and breeding bird surveys are being conducted.
Be a Part of the 2020 Marker Match Campaign
Recognizing the importance of the work MPF does to project prairies and expand prairie plantings, MPF lifetime members Susan Lordi Marker and Dennis Marker will match—to $20,000 —all donations of any amount given in 2020 to support prairie protection and prairie plantings.