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Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks

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Natural Kansas

Ernie Miller Nature Center
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 exhi...
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The Prairie Center
Description: 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, Carolina anemone, and wild strawberry in the spring. In late May or early June, the endangered Meade’s milkweed blooms here. Prickly poppy, Illinois bundle-flower, and sensitive brier (whose leaves fold when they are touched) flower in summer. Blooming in fall are smooth aster, downy gentian, and Missouri goldenrod.

Prominent geological features are the limestone bluffs along the west branch of Cedar Creek and quartzite boulders left by ice-age glaciers.

Wildlife to Watch: A variety of butterflies can be seen around the wildflowers. Prairie birds that inhabit the area include eastern meadowlarks, grasshopper sparrows, American kestrels, mourning doves, and common nighthawks. Look for slender glass lizards, ringneck snakes, ornate box turtles, and other reptiles in the early summer. Mammals include white-tailed deer and coyotes.

Special Tips: 

Ownership: KDWP 
Size: 293 acres 
Closest Town: Olathe

RestroomsParkingTent CampingHikingPicnic tables

Best Seasons for Wildlife Viewing:

Mourning Dove - photo by USFWS
Use link below please

Driving Directions:
From the intersection of I-35 and K-150 in Olathe, travel 6 miles west to the corner of 135th Street and Prairie Center Road.

For more information call (913) 856-7669.

Map Link

The Prairie Center : Wildlife Viewing Area