|The Prairie Center|
The Prairie Center, just west of Olathe, showcases the tallgrass prairie of Kansas with self-guided nature trails. Mid-April burning helps maintain tall grasses, including big and little bluestem, switchgrass, and Indiangrass. The burn also enhances wildflowers. Look for blossoming spiderwort,...
Ernie Miller Nature Center
|Description: A beautiful, relaxing spot, the Ernie Miller Nature Center, on the west edge of Olathe, was created to heighten awareness of the natural world. Nature and walking trails meander along streams and through riparian and oak-hickory woodlands and native prairie. The education building features exhibits, a gift shop, and a bird-feeder court with butterfly and hummingbird gardens. Big and little bluestem, switchgrass, Indiangrass, and numerous species of wildflowers are found in the prairie. The woodlands include American elm, hackberry, black walnut, bur oak, bittersweet, sumac, and buckbrush.|
Wildlife to Watch: Mammals sighted year-round are white-tailed deer, eastern cottontail rabbits, woodchucks, raccoons, gray squirrels, and fox squirrels. In summer, five lined skinks and slender glass lizards can be seen scampering and slithering through woodland debris. Many species of sparrows and warblers migrate through the area in the spring and fall. Nesting varieties include warblers, vireos, thrushes, thrashers, swifts, and swallows. Rough-legged hawks are frequently observed in the winter, as are black-capped chickadees, tufted titmice, American goldfinches, and dark-eyed juncos.
Ownership: Johnson County Parks and Recreation
Size: 113 acres
Closest Town: Lawrence
Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing: