Tallgrass Prairie

Sean Sandefur / KMUW

Next year marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The agency looks after more than 400 protected sites across the country, including Kansas’s Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. Tucked into the Flint Hills near Strong City, it too will celebrate an anniversary in 2016.

KMUW’s Sean Sandefur drove an hour north of Wichita to the 11,000-acre preserve to learn about its history and its future.

Kenneth Spencer / Flickr

The Tallgrass Prairie national preserve tomorrow will hold their 4th annual Marvin Schwilling Memorial Butterfly Count to assess the health of the prairie.

Volunteers are invited to help count butterflies alongside experts in the tall grasses of the Flint Hills.

The yearly count is named after the late biologist and naturalist Marvin Schwilling, who worked for Kansas Wildlife and Parks for 37 years.

By counting the butterflies, experts are able to assess the health of the butterfly population and the Tallgrass prairie.