Wamego Match Day is
October 8, 2020
Wamego Match Day
Wamego Match Day is
October 8, 2020
Wamego Match Day is
October 08, 2020

Mount Mitchell Prairie Guards

Goal: $15,000.00

Specific Need

The Prairie Guards reccently expanded the Mount Mitchell Heritage Prairie's educational and recreational potential by purchasing a portion of the historic Mitchell farm next to the Park. We are now raising funds to pay off the mortgage. The addition of 125 acres has given us access to utilities and a site to build an eventual Visitor’s Center. We can now double the amount of walking trails available to the public. As soon as the mortgage is paid off we will be building a new park access road and fully accessible pathway leading to the historically important ruts and swales of the Topeka Fort Riley Road, once used by freedom-seekers on the Underground Railroad. The park has seen a three-fold increase in visitors since the beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Recognition of the Park's value as a community asset for recreation and education has grown as well.

 

Contributions toward the mortgage payoff and for the maintneance and management of the Park are greatly appreciated.

 

 

Mission

Preserving the Cultural Heritage of the Northern Flint Hills

 

Our mission since 2006 has been to promote the Mount Mitchell Heritage Prairie Park to educational groups, local residents and travelers; restore the Park’s tallgrass prairie to its 1856 condition; and develop the Park by providing amenities including trails, educational exhibits, and signage to enhance the public’s enjoyment. Our activities engage and benefit the public through education, environmental preservation, recreation, and community development.

 

Once part of abolitionist and Underground Railroad Stationmaster Captain William Mitchell’s farm, the Park is dedicated to him and the Beecher Bible and Rifle Colony. It serves as a unique outdoor classroom where visitors can experience an ungrazed tallgrass prairie and learn about the site’s unique role as a Native American sacred place, and of the vital part it played as a pathway to the West used by mountain men, explorers, military expeditions, settlers, and freedom-seekers. 

 

Profile

The Mount Mitchell Prairie Guards

The Mount Mitchell Prairie Guards are a non-profit organization that registered with the IRS in 2010. Our membership is comprised of local residents, and friends and supporters from throughout the country.

 

The Prairie Guards began as an ad hoc committee in 2001 when it was learned that the state historical society planned to return Mount Mitchell to the Mitchell family. The state had been unable to fulfill the terms of the gift. After fifty years of ownership they had not developed the public Park stipulated by the property’s donor William Izott Mitchell.

 

The Prairie Guards worked with local legislators and got the property returned to local control in 2006. Through their efforts the property is now known as the Mount Mitchell Heritage Prairie Park.

 

Today the Prairie Guards:

  • Manage the Park's 70-acres of tallgrass prairie and 100 acres of prairie restoration located in Wabaunsee County, Kansas, south of Wamego.
  • Have built the Park’s infrastructure, including an access road, parking area, fencing, and two miles of walking trails.
  • Erected directional and interpretive signage and an information kiosk.
  • Manage an educational website at mountmitchellprairie.org
  • Have coordinated over two and a half thousand hours of volunteer labor restoring the Park’s native tallgrass prairie.
  • Provided local educators with a resource for fulfilling the requirements of the Kansas Teaching Standards for History and Government, Economics and Geography.
  • Are founding partners of the Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area.
  • Applied for and received official designation by the National Park Service as an authenticated Network to Freedom Underground Railroad site commemorating the Underground Railroad.
  • Successfully lobbied the Native Stone Scenic Byway committee to extend the byway to include Mount Mitchell.
  • Applied for and received Kansas Department of Transportation Tourist Attraction Status to erect brown attraction signs on Highway 99 directing travelers to the park.
  • Have fulfilled the terms of Will Mitchell’s gift of Mount Mitchell to the people of Kansas by creating the Park he envisioned to honor his father and the Beecher Bible and Rifle Colony.
  • Formed working relationships with the Kansas State Historical Society, Wabaunsee County Historical Society, Wamego Historical Society, Wabaunsee Township Board, Wabaunsee County Commissioners, Westar Energy Green Team, Pottawatomie County Economic Development Council, Wabaunsee County Economic Development Committee, Flint Hills Regional Council, Flint Hills Discovery Center, The Native Stone Scenic Byway Committee, The National Park Service, The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, The Citizens Band Potawatomi Nation, Wamego Chamber of Commerce, Symphony in the Flint Hills, Kansas Explorers Club, Oregon/California Trails Association, Konza Prairie, and Unified School Districts 320, 329 and 330.

 

Photos & Videos

Prairie Guard Dan Wagner tells the stories of Mount Mitchell to schoolchildren
Prairie Guard Dan Wagner tells the stories of Mount Mitchell to schoolchildren
The late Richard Pitts leads his Wonder Workshop school kids on a tour of the Park
The late Richard Pitts leads his Wonder Workshop school kids on a tour of the Park
A visitor enjoys the Park's tallgrass prairie in the fall
A visitor enjoys the Park's tallgrass prairie in the fall
The story of Potawatomi Chief Wabaunsee is told at the Park
The story of Potawatomi Chief Wabaunsee is told at the Park
Plains wild indigo blankets the Mitchell meadow in the newly acquired portion of the Park
Plains wild indigo blankets the Mitchell meadow in the newly acquired portion of the Park
Park Expansion Project

Contact

PO Box 136
Wamego KS 66547
Phone: (785) 221-4061

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