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Event Detail


Coombs Prairie Restoration Tour • Jackson County

Saturday, Jun 21st, 2014 @ 1pm
18160 222nd Road • Holton, KS • Map

Tour Fred and Nancy Coombs' ongoing restoration of native grasses and forbs on their 157-year-old family farm. Highlights include reseeding of old fields, patch burning, and timber stand improvement. Directions: 6 miles east of Holton on K-116, right on X Rd, right on 222nd Road, 3/8ths mile to driveway on the right. Contact: Fred or Nancy Coombs 785-872-3463 

Contact: Fred or Nancy Coombs 785-872-3463

Sponsor: Kansas Native Plant Society


17 people attended the event.

Seventeen prairie plant enthusiasts, ranging from experts to novices, collected at the Coombs farm in northeast KS on Saturday afternoon, June 21, 2014 for the second annual review of Fred and Nancy’s ongoing prairie restoration efforts. They came from Wichita, Valley Falls, Lenexa, McLouth, Perry, Soldier, Topeka, Lawrence, Seattle, WA, and Oskaloosa. After a round of introductions, they piled into the backs of two pick-up trucks, fortified with a cooler of ice water and clementines and drove over to the south 40 of the 80-acre tract. That parcel was seeded in native grasses some 50 years ago by Fred’s father. Although no forbs have ever been planted there the group found butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), leadplant (Amorpha canescens), blue hearts (Buchnera americana), palespike lobelia (Lobelia spicata), long-bracted wild indigo, (Baptisia bracteata), rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium), venus’-looking-glass (Triodanis perfoliata and T. leptocarpa), and a miniscule annual milkwort (Polygala verticillata). After a few lessons in finger whistling, employed to gather folks back into the pick-ups, the group was taken to another area where eradicating fescue and brome, then drilling native forbs and grasses five years ago has morphed into a colorful prairiescape. By then, the summer solstice was in full heat; some walked through a nearby woodland back up to the air-conditioned house where others were already cooling off inside. The house is surrounded by an eclectic mix of native forbs to attract pollinators so imagine the thrill of those still remaining to see a variegated fritillary chrysalis (Euptioeta Claudia) on the side of our garage! A diehard group of seven had dinner at Boomer’s in Holton, then stretched this longest day of 2014 into a Flint Hills country road and an exquisite rocky remnant prairie in western Jackson County.

Coombs Prairie Restoration Tour
Coombs Prairie Restoration Tour

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* - KNPS sponsored/co-sponsored event