Annual Wildflower Weekend > 2006

2006 Annual Meeting


Holton, KS on September 8-10, 2006


Print the full itinerary for the weekend (PDF)

Meal Reservation

Use This PDF Form to Make Your Meal Reservations by August 15th, 2006.




  • Learn about seed collecting from Kansas prairies as part of the Millennium Seed Bank Project.

  • Enjoy the Victorian ambiance of a restored hotel or guest house.

  • Visit a number of original prairie remnants, plus observe prairie restoration in progress.

  • Be assisted in plant identification by some of the outstanding plant experts in the state.

  • Renew friendships, make new acquaintances with warm friendly people who are as passionate about the natural world as you are. (When asked what is the best thing about KNPS, most people claim it is a tie between the people and the plants.)

All of the above will be a part of the KNPS ANNUAL FALL MEETING to be held in Holton, Kansas, on September 8, 9, and 10. Holton, nestled 30 miles north of Topeka in the glaciated hills of northeast Kansas, promises a spectacular assortment of late season native plants for our enjoyment.

The theme of the meeting is "Restoring Small Areas to Native Plants." Several nearby prairie remnants and restored sites will be featured, including the Coombs farm east of Holton, where we will view a native plant garden and prairie restoration in progress on Friday afternoon. A highlight of the meeting will be an outing Saturday afternoon to the Rachel Snyder prairie near Mayetta, which features a beautiful prairie remnant surrounded by other fields in various stages of restoration. In preparation for visiting this site, Frank Norman will give a power point presentation Saturday morning at our gathering at the Holton Middle School, which will describe the work of the Grassland Heritage Foundation as stewards of the Rachel Snyder prairie.

For the final prairie visit on Sunday, those attending the Annual Meeting will caravan to three unusually rich remnants never before opened to the public. These include a hillside tall-grass prairie, typical of the region, a rare original remnant of predominantly eastern gama grass in bottom land, and some spectacular acreage incorporated into the grounds of an estate north of Topeka.

There are two additional presentations of high interest planned. Betsy Allen of Chicago's Botanic Garden, who is guiding Tallgrass Prairie native plant seed collections in Kansas for the worldwide Millennium Seed Bank Project, will bring us up to date on their work. Betsy will be speaking at the chuck wagon supper at Red Rock Guest Ranch Friday evening. On Saturday morning, Brad Guhr of Dyck Arboretum at Hesston will share information about the Arboretum's Prairie Windows Project.

Information about the annual photo contest and silent auction, schedule of the events, travel directions, suggested accommodations, and a reservation form for the meeting and meals are found on the inside pages.

Kansas Native Plant Society 2006 ANNUAL MEETING PROGRAM September 8-10, 2006 Holton, KS Theme: Restoring Small Areas to Native Plants

Friday, September 8

2:00 pm (Board members only) Fall Board Meeting at Coombs farm.

3:00 pm All attendees meet at bandstand on Holton Courthouse square.

3:30 pm Caravan to Coombs farm (7 miles east of Holton at 18160 222nd Rd) View gardens and 80-acre restoration project in progress.

5:00-6:00 pm (Free time) Check into hotel, motel, or B&B (see suggested list below).

6:30 pm Chuckwagon supper at Red Rock Guest Ranch (2 miles east of Soldier).

8:00 pm Betsy Allen, Chicago Botanic Garden, "Seeds of Success: The Millennium Seed Bank Project"

Saturday, September 9

Holton Middle School Cafeteria (9th & Iowa)

8:00 am Registration. Coffee, juice, and rolls.  Start Silent Auction, Photo Contest. Set up merchandise displays.

9:00 am Annual Business Meeting: President Jeff Hansen. Welcome. Opening remarks. Committee Reports.

10:00 am Awards. Election of new Board members.

10:30 am Refreshment break. Silent Auction continues.

10:45 am Brad Guhr, Dyck Arboretum, "The Prairie Window Project"

11:15 am Frank Norman, Grassland Heritage Foundation, "The Snyder Prairie"

12:00 noon Lunch at Holton Middle School catered by Bloomer's Grill.

1:30 pm Caravan from Middle School to Snyder Prairie (158th and U Road, 3 miles east of Mayetta).

3:30 pm Exploration, shopping, and dinner on your own.

Sunday, September 10

9:30 am Meet at Holton bandstand. Caravan to Dr. Ernest Kratina's tallgrass and eastern gama prairie remnants.

12:00 noon Rest stop and lunch in Hoyt.

2:00 pm Caravan to Stephen and Sally Illif's prairie remnant on 110th Road  

Local Attractions

For any KNPS members who don't live solely for native plants, a variety of antique stores, gift shops, coffee and sandwich spots, quilting and apparel stores, casinos, and even an old-fashioned dime store can be found in and around Holton. Restaurants include Trails Cafe on US 75, S&A's Downtown Cafe on the east side of the square, Boomer's Grill and Sports Bar on 4th Street, Charlie's on the south side of the square, Bodacious BBQ & Cajun Food on 5th Street across from Hotel Josephine, and Three Fires Steakhouse at Harrah's Prairie Band Casino.


Lodging available in the Holton area includes: Hotel Josephine. 501 Ohio Street, Holton, KS 66436. Just one block east of the square, this historic 1889 hotel has been renovated recently. Single or double rooms are $50 upstairs or $60 downstairs. A block of rooms at these rates is being held for KNPS, and reservations can be made by calling 785-872-3151 by August 15.

Super 8 Motel. South side of Holton on US 75. A block of rooms at a discounted rate of $62.90 plus tax will be held for KNPS until August 15. The discount is available only by calling 785-364-1988 and indicating you are with KNPS. Members who book a room after the August 15 deadline may still receive a discount if rooms are available, but weekend vacancies are unlikely. A continental breakfast and high-speed internet access is included.

The Parsonage Guesthouse. A beautifully restored, antique furnished, Victorian B&B, circa 1870, at 425 W. Fourth Street, two blocks from the Courthouse square. Tel: 785-364-2240, website <>. Rooms with a queen bed run $99 and a popular attic suite is $149. All are non-smoking.

Red Rock Guest Ranch. Site of the Friday night supper, 1 1/2 miles east of Soldier and 20 minutes from Holton. Eleven rooms with a variety of configurations and prices. See, E-mail, or call 785-834-2552.

Harrah's Prairie Band Casino Hotel. 296 rooms in casino complex just west of US 75 on 150th Road. This is about 10 miles south of Holton, but close to some of the prairie sites we'll be visiting. Rates vary based on availability. Call 785-966-7777 for reservations.

Finding Your Way Around

Holton is 30 miles north of Topeka on US 75. You will reach downtown Holton by turning east off US 75 onto Banner Road and following the signs to the Courthouse Square. Attendees who arrive Friday afternoon should assemble for refreshments around 3:00 pm at the bandstand on the southeast corner of the square, then join the caravan to the Coombs farm about 3:30 pm. Latecomers can still visit that native plant garden and 80-acre restoration site by driving 7 miles east of Holton on KS 116, south on X Road for 3/4 mile, then west on 222nd Road for 3/8 mile to mailbox 18160.

For supper at 6:30 Friday evening take KS 16 west from Holton 12 miles, proceed north on KS 62 five miles to Soldier, then east (right) on 270th Road 1 1/2 miles to the Red Rock Guest Ranch (Tel: 785-834-2552).

The Saturday sessions will be held at Holton Middle School, located at 9th and Iowa, just west of Holton High School. From the Holton Courthouse square go north to 9th Street and west to Iowa Street.

The group will caravan to Snyder Prairie (158th and U Road) Saturday afternoon and to the privately owned prairie remnants Sunday.

Photos for the Fall Contest

Bring your plant photos to the fall meeting in Holton. The photos should be from 4"x 5" to 8" x 10" and mounted on poster board without frames. Categories are trilogy (same plant at three different stages), flora, fauna using native plants, people enjoying native plants, scenery, and landscapes. Label each photo with the category, your name, and city, a title, the county and location where taken (e.g., garden, roadside), the date taken, and camera type (e.g., SLR).

Silent Auction Fundraiser

The second annual Silent auction fundraiser will be held during the business meeting Saturday morning, September 9. Proceeds will benefit the programs of KNPS. Bring an item or two to donate to the auction and help KNPS continue to provide quality native plant education and information to the people of Kansas. Artwork, crafts, books, posters, wearing apparel, wine, jellies, or teas are just a few of the items that would be appropriate.