Archive for Tuesday, December 17, 2013

25 years ago: Local group fights for preservation of Elkins Prairie

December 17, 2013

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Dec. 17, 1988:

Local environmentalists were campaigning for preservation of the Elkins Prairie, 70 acres of largely undisturbed land west of Lawrence. The prairie, at the northeast corner of U.S. Highway 40 and Douglas County Road 13, was mowed every year for hay, but it had never been plowed and was thus considered by biologists to be one of the county's prime candidates for prairie research. Those leading the preservation movement were concerned that a new road planned nearby could threaten the tallgrass species of the land and were seeking funds to purchase and save the area."We're looking at a living heritage that goes back to the Pleistocene Age," said Ken Lassman, a member of the Kansas Area Watershed Council and an organizer of Save The Elkins Prairie (STEP). "You can come out here in the spring and see a carpet of wild flowers and come back a week or so later and see a whole new carpet.... This is an amazing resource biologically and aesthetically." Organizers were worried that construction of the south Lawrence trafficway could ruin the prairie.

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