Plan on a walk or ride through the prairie. See the native Tallgrass. Watch the buffalo roam. But make sure you don’t miss this month’s FREE Konza Prairie Open House.

It only happens once every two years.The Konza Prairie Biological Research Station is an 8,600 acre Flint Hills preserve managed by the Kansas State University Division of Biology. The grassland area (which you may have noticed driving on I-70 near the turnoff for Manhattan) is known worldwide for the research conducted there. Here’s some more information about the open house courtesy of Konza’s Environmental Educator, Jill Haukos:

Why does Konza have the open house?“It’s really to offer the public an inside look at what happens at Konza Prairie, because most of the year, inner working for the biological station are closed to the public. Here, we throw open the doors and let everyone come in and take a look. We have the researchers here so anyone with questions can get their answers strait from the researchers.”What kind of event is the open house?

“It’s family friendly. We have activities for anyone. We have tours on our bison loop, which are really appealing to a whole group of people, because they get to see the bison herd and also some of the research we’re doing on controlled burns. Often the tours are led by the researchers or donors. So, it’s a really good time to get a good look at the prairie and have questions answered.”

Event Date: September 29, 2012

Time: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm (last tours start between 2:00 and 4:00)

Where: Konza Prairie Biological Station

Cost: FREE Activities:

  •  Bison Loop Driving Tours (1 hour) – depart every 15 minutes
  •  Hay Wagon Rides and Research Plots Tour (1 hour) – departs every 30 minutes
  •  Guided Prairie Walk (1.5 miles) – departs every hour
  •  Homestead Tour – accessible via Nature Trail or on shuttle leaving every 30 minutes
  •  Hike the Nature Trail (2.6 miles ) – Nature Interpreters, stationed at various points along the trail.
Kids activities:
  •  Earn a Junior Ecologist Button
  •  Grasshopper sweep
  •  Collage or bookmark making with dried prairie plants
  •  Bison artifacts
  •  Live prairie animal and plant displays.

If you can’t make it to the event this month, there are 6 miles of nature trails open to the public year-round from dawn to dusk.

Becky Blake is the Director of the Kansas Travel & Tourism Division, and has been involved in the Kansas tourism industry for the past 30 years. The TravelKS Blog provides a brief update from Becky each week, featuring communities, events and attractions throughout the state.