The original 320 acres of Golden Prairie were saved by MPF between 1970 and 1975; this track was declared a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service in May 1975. In 2015, this portion was also designated the Golden Prairie Natural Area and is included in the Missouri Natural Areas program
, a designation reserved for only the highest quality natural landscapes.
A total of 310 acres from two adjacent tracts were added in 2002 and are being restored. Golden Prairie has silty loam soils formed from sandstone with residual limestone. The entire 630 acres is within the Golden Grasslands Conservation Opportunity Area and the Golden Grasslands Important Bird Area, an Audubon designation.
A total of 345 plant species have been recorded at Golden Prairie and greater prairie-chickens have been photographed extensively on the site. Read the 2014 Golden Prairie Floristic Integrity Report here
, prepared by the Institute of Botanical Training. Read the 2017 Bird Surveys Report for Golden here
, prepared by the Missouri River Bird Observatory.
Report on bees found at Golden and Stilwell Prairies
Herpetofaunal Survey: Reptiles and Amphibians at Golden Prairie
Golden Prairie is located in Barton County on SE 90th Road, about 2 miles south of Golden City. Traveling north on I-49, take exit 66, turn east onto State Highway K, and drive about 8.5 miles. Turn left onto SE 90th Lane, drive 2 miles north, turn left onto SE 90th Road, then drive about 1/2 mile west. Traveling south on I-49, take exit 70, turn east onto Missouri 126, and drive about 6 miles. Turn right onto State Highway T, drive 2 miles south, turn left onto SE 90th Road, then drive about 2 1/2 miles east. The prairie is on the south side of the road. Two gravel parking areas are available.
To visit the sandstone prairie on the east side of the property, use GPS N37 21.918 W94 8.745 (in decimal degrees, 37.365300, -094.145750). To visit the limestone prairie on the west side of the property, use GPS N37 21.929 W94 9.285 (in decimal degrees, 37.365483, -94.154750).