MPF’s La Petite Gemme Prairie featured in the Springfield News Leader

MPF’s La Petite Gemme Prairie featured in the Springfield News Leader

I walk through knee-high prairie grass that’s undulating like ocean waves, blown by a gentle southerly breeze.

It’s a short hike to the top of a low hill, and from here I stop, let my mind slow, breathe in the aroma of earth and plants and take in a view unchanged in a thousand years.

Records show these 37 acres have never been touched by a farmer’s plow or disturbed by human hands. I’m at La Petite Gemme Praire — The Little Gem in French (acknowledging the regions French influence) — a “remnant” prairie southwest of Bolivar that looks the way it did long before white settlers arrived in Missouri.

Why wade through weeds and grass with no established trails or fantastic caves or thrilling whitewater streams? I spray my boots and pants with copious amounts of tick repellent and moments later, I realize why this place is worth spending time to explore.

Steady spring rains have brought this ancient prairie to life.  READ MORE