Natural Areas

JCPRD protects important environmentally sensitive natural areas across the county. These natural areas are some of the best and last examples of pre-development tallgrass prairie and forest areas in Eastern Kansas. These natural communities require intensive management and monitoring to maintain their diversity. JCPRD staff and volunteers from the Kansas City Wildlands work in tandem towards maintaining the health of these sites against the threat from exotic plants and woody vegetation.

Kill Creek Prairie

Located within Kill Creek Park near De Soto, this beautiful 20-acre prairie remnant contains a population of the rarest plants of the tallgrass prairie including the threatened Mead’s Milkweed. Kill Creek Prairie is managed on a rotating basis by haying and prescribed fire.

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Ernie Miller Prairie

A small prairie remnant has been restored over the last decade through a combination of cedar tree removal and aggressive planting and seeding by Kansas City Wildlands volunteers. Visit the Ernie Miller Park prairie in late summer for a bouquet of prairie wildflowers blooming.

Ogg Prairie

Tucked inside Shawnee Mission Park is a small diverse five acre prairie that holds amazing floristic diversity. Coneflowers, blazing stars, rattlesnake master, prairie clover, ladies’ tress orchids, and several sunflower species are just a few of the wildflowers found on this remnant site. This jewel is threatened by encroaching woody vegetation and exotic plant growth.

Cedar Niles Prairie

This 45-acre remnant prairie was recently identified on the Cedar Niles future park site. A team of JCPRD staff and volunteer botanists are currently conducting an inventory of prairie species present on the site. This site is not open to the public at this time.