Wildflowers bloom in Carver Prairie in Newton County
Wildflowers bloom in Carver Prairie in Newton County

Tallgrass prairies, which used to dominate the landscape of southwest Missouri, are now one of the most endangered natural community types in the state. The few remaining tracts of unplowed native prairie act as refuges of biodiversity. Preserving the tracts is an important component for regional restoration objectives.

After releasing a Request for Proposals in 2014, the Trustees awarded funding to the Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF) to restore and protect native prairie remnants throughout Jasper and Newton counties. Using the awarded funds, MPF will acquire properties containing native prairie remnants, then protect and enhance the natural habitat. Department staff are involved in reviewing management plans and assisting with field work such as conducting prescribed fires. MPF continues to identify and negotiate acquisition of good quality remnant prairies and restore and monitor those already acquired. 


The department contracted with Missouri Prairie Foundation in 2014 to begin protecting and restoring native prairie remnants in southwest Missouri. Here are some of the important milestones that we have achieved so far:

  • In 2015, MPF acquired Carver Prairie, a 160-acre property directly next to Diamond Grove Prairie Conservation Area in Newton County. Carver Prairie contains 65 acres of high-quality native remnant prairie. The rest of the property consists of old fields which will be converted back to prairie and woodland, which will be thinned to create a savannah type habitat.
  • In 2017, MPF acquired Noah Brown’s Prairie, a 59-acre property in Newton County containing a 19-acre high quality prairie remnant, along with a mixture of old fields and woodland.
  • In March 2017, the department placed a conservation easement on Carver Prairie, ensuring that it will be protected as native habitat for generations to come.
  • In 2018, MPF acquired the Northwest Lawrence County Prairie, a 40-acre prairie remnant.
  • In 2020, MPF acquired the 68-acre Rae Letsinger Prairie in Newton County, near Sarcoxie, and the 40-acre Polk County Prairie.

For information about any upcoming events, public notices and opportunities for public comment relating to this project, visit What's New in NRDAR.


This project is made possible through the joint efforts of the following groups: