We were spending the day with our Grandson and decided to take him with us to the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, as it is known locally.
The Preserve itself consists of 39,650 acres on which 2500 Bison are free to roam. At one time, the Tallgrass Prairie spanned 14 states from Texas to Minnesota, but now has been reduced to approximately 4% of its original size. To date, this is the largest intact section left.
These Bison are carefully managed as is the prairie itself. Prescribed burns occur periodically throughout the year since wildfires are a natural part of the prairie environment.
Just driving through the area takes you back in time. There are sections where no powerlines or fences can be seen. It gives one a small sense of what this area used to look like.
The previous blog post was a video we took that shows the best part of the trip. Below will be the still photos to show some of the other things we encountered.
This time of year, the bulls are usually solitary or in bachelor groups. All of the really big bulls that we saw were alone and way off in the distance.
Our primary objective was to visit the main ranch complex and tour the Visitors Center but it has been closed since 30 March 2020 due to COVID.
Throughout the course of the 15 mile trip to the Visitor Center, we gave a history lesson of both the American bison (Bison bison) and the Tallgrass Prairie to our Grandson. We stopped often and let him use his binoculars to see the Bison that were in the distance. Eventually we found 2 groups converging at a road junction that were close enough to give him a really good look at them.
We had a great trip and plan on including our Grandson more often. It was good to share our passion for nature with him and he was able to see us pick up trash from along the road which allowed for us to explain our ethics and stewardship of the land. He got a kick out of us telling him that “we don’t own the land, we are only borrowing it from future generations.” And as such…we don’t want him to inherit a landscape full of trash. We strive to leave it cleaner than when we found it.
I hope you enjoyed the photos. Have a great weekend.