The prairie ecosystem has dominated the Great Plains and Midwestern landscape for nearly 10,000 years. Development and agriculture in the last 100 years have destroyed all but 4% of this original area and a majority of what remains is in Kansas.
Kansas has the unique opportunity to study, manage, and restore these blueprint prairies. In doing so, we can conserve a rich legacy that is part of our natural and cultural history. Dyck Aboretum of the Plains has embraced this opportunity to learn about the prairie plants and animals of South Central Kansas prairie remnants, collect local-ecotype seed of grasses, sedges and wildflowers from them, and reconstruct prairie at Dyck Arboretum to serve as a learning laboratory and refuge for genetic seed diversity.