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Source: Valerie Wright, 785-587-0381, konzaed@k-state.edu
Website: http://www.kpbs.konza.ksu.edu
News release prepared by: Stephanie Jacques, 785-532-0101, sjacques@k-state.edu

Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010

KONZA PRAIRIE BIOLOGICAL STATION HOSTS VISITORS' DAY SEPT. 25

MANHATTAN -- The public will get an up-close look at the tallgrass prairie ecosystem during the 17th biennial Konza Prairie Biological Station Visitors' Day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25.

Known worldwide as one of the premier sites for ecological research, Konza Prairie Biological Station is an 8,600 acre native tallgrass prairie preserve and research center jointly owned by The Nature Conservancy and Kansas State University. Managed by K-State's Division of Biology, the biological station is dedicated to a three-fold mission of long-term ecological research, education and prairie conservation.

The public will be able to hike the nature trail system with knowledgeable guides, take a guided bus tour through areas that are grazed by bison and burned at different intervals, enjoy a hay wagon ride around research plots, visit with leading grassland ecologists from K-State, and tour the Konza Prairie headquarters and historic Hokanson Homestead along Kings Creek.

Special activities for children will be at the Education Center in the lower level of the Hulbert Center, while animal displays and research exhibits will be in the Konza Meeting Hall, a renovated stone barn and in the fire station. Konza Prairie researchers, K-State faculty, scientists, docents and staff will talk about current research activities, the history of the site, the ecology and geology of the Flint Hills, and tallgrass prairie plants and wildlife.

"There’s something for the whole family," said Valerie Wright, environmental educator for Konza Prairie. “Kids can become a Junior Ecologist by completing some fun activities, or they may collect grasshoppers for the Hopper Display."

The Friends of Konza Prairie will be selling Konza Prairie T-shirts, hats, posters, mugs and additional merchandise. The Nature Conservancy will host an informational booth, and various books about the prairie will be available for purchase.

Konza Prairie Biological Station is six miles south of Manhattan along McDowell Creek Road. Station headquarters is on Konza Prairie Lane past the nature trail kiosk around the corner on the right. For more information contact Wright at 785-587-0381 or konzaed@k-state.edu. More information also is available at http://kpbs.konza.ksu.edu/.