“Biological diversity is the key to the maintenance of the world as we know it.”
~ E.O. Wilson, Biodiversity
MPF’s 8th Annual Prairie BioBlitz will be held at its Stilwell Prairie, Vernon County. Take part in nature study with experts on mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, pollinators, ants, butterflies, moths, spiders, and plants, and help inventory species from 117 acres of biologically rich prairie at the site. This event is free of charge, and an interest in nature is all that is required to attend! Registration for specific study groups will be open soon.
After an afternoon of prairie exploration and a potluck picnic dinner, participants can learn about nocturnal insects. Free tent camping is available on the prairie. Additional surveying and inventory work will continue on the morning of June 11.
What MPF provides: a big tent for gathering and eating under, chairs, tables, and portable toilets.
What you should bring: tent camping supplies, outdoor clothing, sunscreen, insect repellent, flashlight, drinking water, plates, utensils, a dish to share at the potluck dinner and a cooler to keep it in if it is perishable. You may also want to bring food for breakfast on June 5 and snacks, as well as field guides and a camera. A stove will be available for making coffee and tea in the morning. Tip: rubber boots are nice for shielding against morning dew.
The 376-acre Stilwell Prairie property is situated on a ridgetop with views of the Little Osage River Valley to the north and the Marmaton River Valley to the south. Stilwell Prairie contains two state-imperiled community types tracked by the Missouri Natural Heritage Database: dry-mesic limestone/dolomite and dry-mesic sandstone/shale prairie natural communities, as well as more than 325 native vascular plant species, including the federally threatened Mead’s milkweed (Asclepias meadii). Approximately 117 acres of Stilwell is high quality prairie, and the remainder is in varying stages of restoration.
Google Earth Map of Stilwell Prairie (http://www.moprairie.org/placemarks/stilwell-prairie-vernon-county/)
Directions: Stilwell Prairie is located in Vernon County on CR 500, 1 mile east of Richards on Route H and then 1 mile north on CR 500. Parking is available by the gated entrance at the intersection of CR 500 and Indian Line Road. By GPS, N37 55.723 W94 32.510 (in decimal degrees, 37.92872 -94.54184).