Environmental Review Toolkit
Water, Wetlands, and Wildlife

Summer 2003

Greener Roadsides

Greener Roadsides archive

Prairie Passage USA Sites

Map of Prairie Passage showing how the route travels near I-35 from the Mexican border through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and, Iowa. The route then travels near I-90 in Minnesota, heading to the western edge of the state and then up to the northern border in a somewhat zig-zag pattern.


Prairie Passage Coordinator: 515.239.1424

Hayden Prairie: Located near Lime Springs east of 1-35 near Minnesota/Iowa border. The largest black soil prairie in Iowa. Shooting star and prairie smoke put on a spectacular show in late May

Lime Creek Nature Center: Mason City. Hours vary, 641.423.5309 A conservation education facility on 400 acres with walking trails, restored prairie and a nature center feature displays

Fossil & Prairie Park: Rockford. Open 6 am to 10:30 pm year round, 641.756.3490 A 400 acre park along the Winnebago River with Devonian fossils; 80 acres of native prairie and historic beehive kilns. Fossil and Prairie Center.

Fort Museum & Frontier Village: Fort Dodge. Open 9 am to 6 pm daily May through October, admission, 515.573.4231 1862 military fort and frontier town with 12 original and replica buildings. Museum displays American Indian, pioneer and military artifacts.

Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge & Prairie Learning Center: Prairie City. Auto tour and trails open sunrise to sunset daily, 515.994.3400 One of a few national wildlife refuges devoted to the prairie landscape and its interpretation. More than 5,000 acres have been reestablished to native Iowa prairie plants. See wildlife, native flowers and grasses, buffalo and elk along the auto tour and foot trails. The learning center has state of the art displays.


Prairie Passage Coordinator: 573.751.8647

Dunn Ranch & Pawnee River: North of Bethany. Intersection of Route M and D, west of Eagleville. 660.867.3866 Nearly 3,000 acres of high duality prairie supporting wide variety of grasslands birds and other prairie wildlife.

National Frontier Trails Center: Independence. Open year-round, admission, 816.325.7575 Only museum and interpretive center in the U.S. devoted to the Oregon, California and Santa Fe Trails. Independence was an important outfitting center for westward expansion of the prairie. Many significant historical buildings.

Missouri Town 1855: Blue Springs. Open year-round; times vary, admission, 816.795.795.8200 Living history/village museum with original structures.

Prairie State Park: Liberal. Open year-round, 417.843.6711 One of the state's largest remaining tallgrass prairies. It's 3,300 plus acres harboring over 150 species of birds and at least 25 rare species of plants and animals. Visitor Center with interpretive displays, hiking trails, and backpack camping. Bison roam freely in parts of the park.


close-up of spike-like, white flower topped prairie plant with many long, narrow leaves
close-up of yellow, daisy-like flowers with orange centers

Prairie Passage Coordinator: 785.296.0215

Prairie Center: Olathe. Open daily, dawn to dusk, 913.856.7669 There are six miles of trail through this 300 acre native tallgrass prairie and woodland nature area.

Ivan Boyd Prairie Preserve: Baldwin City. 785.594.3200 The narrow swaths of grass within the 40-acre preserve that are just a bit lighter in the shade than their surroundings mark the wagon tracks of the old Santa Fe Trail. A "Survey 1825" monument marks the trail.

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve: Strong City 620.273.8491 Located in the heart of the Flint Hills, this 11,000 acre prairie is managed by the National Park Service and interprets a significant portion of the cattle ranching heritage of the Flint Hills. hundreds of different native prairie birds, plants, reptiles, amphibians and mammals can be found here.

Kansas Turnpike: Emporia to Cassoday. Enjoy undisturbed beauty of the many miles of rolling hills and unobstructed views of land and sky as you drive this scenic stretch through the heart of the Flint Hills.

Little House on the Prairie: Independence. Open April 15 to October 1, donations accepted, 620.331.1890 The actual site of The Little House on the Prairie is today as when Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family lived here, a tranquil prairie setting surrounded by rustling grasses. A one room school and early post office have been relocated from nearby sites.

old white church or schoolhouse with small white outbuilding on early winter prairie


Prairie Passage Coordinator: 405.521.4037

The Tallgrass Prairie Preserve: Pawhuska. 918.287.4803 A 35 mile long scenic route on country roads takes you through this 38,600 acre preserve where bison roam free once again. Their are four scenic turn outs. This site offers a gift shop, nature trails, picnic area.

Woolaroc Museum: Bartlesville. Admission, 1.800.636.0307 Country retreat of Frank Phillips, pioneer oil explorer, features a museum, Indian heritage center, rustic lodge, wildlife preserve and nature trail.

Gilcrease Museum: Tulsa. Hours vary, 918.596.2700 One of the world's largest collections of American Western Art. Relates America's pre-history, settlement and western expansion.

Chickasaw National Recreation Area: Sulphur. 580.622.3165 There are year-round recreational activities. Forests and prairies reward hikers, wildlife photographers and campers. Streams and lakes cater to boaters, swimmers, anglers.


Prairie Passage Coordinator: 512.416.3084

Parkhill Prairie Preserve: Mckinney. Located 50 miles NE of Dallas This preserve is one of the few remnant tallgrass prairies in Texas.

Lady Bird Johnson National Wildflower Center: Austin. Tuesday to Sunday, 9 am to 5:30 pm, 512.292.4200 Visitor center, exhibits, gift center, research display gardens, landscaped areas and Chemed gardens. The center is committed to the preservation and establishment of native plants in all ecosystems nationwide.

Manitoba, Canada

At present there is no designated Prairie Passage Route extending into Manitoba. However, interested organizations are pursuing the possibility of a signed route.

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Questions and feedback should be directed to Deirdre Remley (deirdre.remley@dot.gov, 202-366-0524).

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