Carver Prairie, Newton CountyPosted: March 1, 2016 at 9:05 pm
Carver Prairie is a 163-acre tract in Newton County that was acquired by the Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF) in December 2015 with funding from a 2013 award from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Serve and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Award funds were made available as a result of a Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) settlement with ASARCO, a lead mining and smelting company whose operations created environmental damage while it operated in Jasper and Newton Counties over the last century.
The tract includes 65 acres of original unplowed prairie adjacent to the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Diamond Grove Prairie. The original prairie is dominated by prairie dropseed (Sporobolus heterolepis), which is characteristic of many of the surviving prairies in the area, locally referred to as dropseed prairies. Carver Prairie also includes 26 acres that will be reconstructed prairie, and 69 acres of savanna/woodland along the original, presettlement woodland-prairie interface. The prairie is named after Dr. George Washington Carver, a prominent African-American scientist whose birthplace is in the vicinity. The George Washington Carver National Monument is located 2.5 miles to the southeast.
Directions: Carver Prairie is located in Newton County on Lark Road, about 5 miles southeast of Joplin. From the intersection of I-44 and south I-49, drive 1/2 mile south on I-49 and take the 32nd St (also known as Missouri FF) exit. Drive east on 32nd St about 2 1/4 miles, take a right onto Lark Rd, and travel south about 2 1/2 miles. Carver Prairie is directly across the road from MDC’s Diamond Grove Prairie on Lark Rd. Alternatively, from the intersection of I-44 and north I-49/Hwy 59 south, drive 2 miles south on Highway 59, then take a right to travel west on 32nd St (FF) for 4 miles to reach Lark Rd. Continue about 2 1/2 miles south. By GPS, N37 0.954 W94 23.337 (in decimal degrees, 37.01591 -94.38894).