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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Manhattan in Riley County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

The Tallgrass Prairie

 
 
The Tallgrass Prairie Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 17, 2012
1. The Tallgrass Prairie Marker
Inscription.

"As to scenery, while I know the standard claim is that Yosemite, Niagara Falls, the Upper Yellowstone, and the like afford the greatest natural shows, I am not so sure but the prairies and plains, while less stunning at first sight, last longer, fill the esthetic sense fuller, precede all the rest, and make North America's characteristic landscape. Even the prairie's simplest statistics are sublime."
- Walt Whitman

At first sight, the tallgrass prairie appears to be a monotonous sea of grass, and indeed it is dominated by a handful of tall perennial grasses such as big bluestem, little bluestem, Indian grass, and switchgrass. However, closer inspection reveals its wealth of biological diversity. The grassland, woodland, and stream habitats of Konza contain over 600 species of plants, approximately 300 species of vertebrates (mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes) and several hundred species of insects, small soil organisms, and aquatic organisms. This diversity is maintained by complex interactions of grazers, fire, topography, soils, and a variable mid-continental climate.

The tallgrass prairie once stretched over most of what is now Iowa, Illinois, southern Minnesota, northern Missouri, and the eastern portions of the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Most of this region was converted to farmland

The Tallgrass Prairie Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 17, 2012
2. The Tallgrass Prairie Marker
during the westward expansion in the 1800's. As a result, only a small fraction of the original prairie remains. The exception is the Kansas Flint Hills where steep slopes and rocky soils defied the plow. Within the Flint Hills region, approximately 5 million acres remain as the largest contiguous area of tall grass prairie in North America. Today, the key ecological processes of periodic fire and grazing are important management practices in Flint Hills prairie.
 
Erected 1997 by The Nature Conservancy and the Kansas State University Division of Biology.
 
Location. 39° 7.933′ N, 96° 32.41′ W. Marker is near Manhattan, Kansas, in Riley County. Marker is on Pillsbury Drive 5 miles north of Interstate 70, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at the Konza Prairie-Kansas River Valley Interpretive Center. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3700 Pillsbury Drive, Manhattan KS 66502, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Konza Prairie (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Geology at Konza (about 300 feet away); Manhattan's Union Pacific Depot - Revived (approx. 3.2 miles away); Yuma Street
Konza Prairie-Kansas River Valley Interpretive Center image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr.
3. Konza Prairie-Kansas River Valley Interpretive Center
(approx. 3.2 miles away); Change & Growth (approx. 3.2 miles away); Colorado Street (approx. 3.3 miles away); The American Veteran (approx. 3 miles away); Riley County Courthouse (approx. 3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Manhattan.
 
Also see . . .
1. K-177 Overlook Park. (Submitted on February 13, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Geology, Geomorphology and Geohydrology of the Flint Hills. (Submitted on February 13, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Konza Prairie. (Submitted on February 13, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. Konza Prairie Biological Station, Kansas State University. (Submitted on February 13, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
5. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. (Submitted on February 13, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Environment
 
View of Flint Hills from K-177 Overlook Park image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 17, 2012
4. View of Flint Hills from K-177 Overlook Park
View of Flint Hills from K-177 Overlook Park image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 17, 2012
5. View of Flint Hills from K-177 Overlook Park
Bison on The Tallgrass Prairie Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., May 17, 2012
6. Bison on The Tallgrass Prairie Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 13, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 230 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 13, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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