Peers Store Pollinator Garden

Peers Store

Marthasville, Missouri (on the Katy Trail)

Yellow and purple flowers in green foliage
Yellow and black bumble bee on purple coneflower
Field of purple coneflowers

Photos: Dan Burkhardt

Size: 3.5 acres

Year established: 2015

Year inducted: 2023

Category: Professionally managed

Maintained by: DJM Ecological

Entrance Fee: None

Description: The Peers Store Pollinator Garden is planted on approximately 3.5 acres of land owned by Missouri State Parks between the Katy Trail and the Peers Store.

Connie and Dan Burkhardt purchased the Peers Store in 2014. The general store was originally built for the arrival of the Katy Railroad in 1896 and operated continuously until closing in 2012. The Burkhardts’ intent was to use the store as a “conservation outpost” — a place to welcome riders on the Katy Trail with a cool drink and a message of conservation and the cultural and natural history of the area. Today the Peers Store and Pollinator Garden are operated by Magnificent Missouri, a 501(c)(3) advocating for conservation along the Katy Trail.

Originally the 3.5-acre parcel that has become the Peers Store Pollinator Garden housed a grain elevator and a variety of buildings and stock pens that were used by the old Missouri-Kansas-Texas (KATY) Railroad. Those buildings were removed decades ago and the land had grown up to a tangle of non-native thistles, dock and other weeds that was brush-hogged once or twice a summer. The underlying soil was littered with broken concrete, gravel, and detritus from old foundations and buildings. Magnificent Missouri approached Missouri State Parks with a proposal to plant and maintain a prairie reconstruction on the property.

The first preparation and seeding was done in collaboration with Missouri State Parks with the help of Quail Forever in 2015. Additional seeding was completed in 2016 by DJM Ecological. Today DJM provides weed control and burning as needed. The results of the prairie planting are a testament to the restorative powers of native plants and their ability to turn land that has been neglected for many years into a vibrant natural environment, hosting pollinators and a variety of birds — and visitors to Missouri from around the world.

What Makes this Garden Excellent:
This pollinator garden, a partnership between Missouri State Parks and Magnificent Missouri, provides tens of thousands of visitors a year a look at native plants and how powerful they can be in transforming a landscape.

Examples of Wildlife Spotted Here:
American goldfinch
Eastern kingbird

Ten Great Native Plants to See Here:

Bouteloua curtipendula (side oats grama)
Coreopsis tinctoria
(plains coreopsis)
Eryngium yuccifolium
(rattlesnake master)
Monarda fistulosa (bee balm)
Penstemon digitalis (foxglove beardtongue)
Pycnanthemum tenuifolium (slender mountain mint)
Rudbeckia hirta (black-eyed Susan)
Silphium integrifolium (rosinweed)
Silphium laciniatum (compass plant)
Zizia aurea (golden Alexanders)

Signage: Signs along the Katy Trail and in the parking area facing the prairie describe the prairie and the value of native plants as well as a brief history of the the Peers Store and the development of the Katy Trail

Accessibility: Easily accessible and visible from Highway 94 and the Katy Trail. Tens of thousands of Katy Trail visitors drive, bike, and walk past the prairie annually. Paths are mowed through the prairie that provide visitors a way to see, smell and touch a large variety of native plants, birds and pollinators.

16011 Concord Hill Road
(Mile Marker 81.2 on the Katy Trail)
Marthasville, MO

38°38’3.3″N 91°7’22.4″W
38.634241, -91.122887

For More Information:
Contact person: Dan Burkhardt

Learn more about Peers Store and the Peers Store Pollinator Garden at Magnificent Missouri’s website.

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