Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Chase County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Prairie for the People
When Stephen F. Jones began acquiring this property for his Spring Hill Ranch in 1878, Kansas had been a state for 17 years, and much of the Kansas prairie was already being converted into cropland.
The majority of the land which now comprises the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve was originally the property of the Spring Hill Ranch. More recently known as the Z Bar, the ranch included fertile bottom lands along Fox Creek which could be cultivated for crops, as well as thousands of acres of prime upland prairie for grazing.
The Flint Hills were too rocky to plow, but were perfectly suited for ranching. As more and more of the tallgrass prairie of the American Midwest was plowed under for farming, the Flint Hills remained in grazing. The area has become an island of refuge for many species of prairie plants and animals.
Until recently, the tallgrass prairie, a major North American ecosystem, was not represented in the National Park System. Today, at last, a portion of this rare landscape has been set aside to be preserved for all generations to enjoy. As you tour the site, you will also learn of the Native Americans and ranchers whose memories are intertwined with this prairie land, and the history of the American West.
Erected by National Park Service.
Location. Click for map. Marker is on the grounds of the former Spring Hill Ranch headquarters off Kansas Highway 177, about 2.5 miles north of Strong City. Marker is in this post office area: Strong City KS 66869, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Spring Hill Ranch (here, next to this marker); Curious Outbuildings (a few steps from this marker); Little Barn on the Prairie (a few steps from this marker); Welcome to the Prairie (within shouting distance of this marker); Vital Necessities (within shouting distance of this marker); Back to Basics (approx. half a mile away); W.B. Strong Memorial Railroad Park (approx. 2.9 miles away); Strong City (approx. 2.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.
Also see . . .
1. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. (Submitted on November 13, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
2. "Prairie Preservation" in Encyclopedia of the Great Plains. (Submitted on November 13, 2011, by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas.)
Categories. • Agriculture • Environment • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page has been viewed 289 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Fort Scott, Kansas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.