MPF Hike to Union Ridge Conservation Area and Morris Prairie Natural Area
Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Explore these northeastern Missouri native grassland gems with leader Ryan Jones, Wildlife Management Biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation
Prior to Euro-American settlement, northeastern Missouri was a mosaic of open woodland, savanna, and prairie. In 1855, Thomas Dockery, describing the wooded lands of Adair County, MO, wrote In the timbered portion of the county, there was absolutely no brush. The trees were very massive and the ground underneath was covered with prairie flowers and grass all combined to make this a truly beautiful and inviting country. Today, restored and protected remnants of these wildlife-rich habitats are scattered across the region, thanks to conservation groups and private landowners.
A free, guided hike at two of these sites will be offered on Saturday, Sept. 8 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
“This will be a wonderful day visiting some excellent examples of pre-European settlement natural community habitat types,” said Ryan Jones, Wildlife Management Biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, who will be the hike leader to the savannas of Union Ridge Conservation Area and Morris Prairie Natural Area. “We will visit the largest savanna of its type remaining in the state and one of the richest prairie remnants in northern Missouri.”
At Union Ridge, the hike will follow a mile-long field road to experience a spring-burned savanna, as well as woodland and oak forest at the 8,262-acre Union Ridge Conservation Area near Green Castle, MO (22 miles west of Kirksville). After a few hours at Union Ridge, the group will travel by car about 14 miles to the 167-acre Morris Prairie Natural Area for a short walk on one of the most biologically diverse original prairie remnants in northeastern Missouri.
Bring a sack lunch and water. Dress for the field and bring sun and tick protection. Limited to 30. Free, but please register at right.
Morris Prairie Natural Area. Photo: Krista Noel
Union Ridge Conservation Area savanna. Photo: Ryan Jones