Conservation resources for Douglas County landowners

Two hundred years ago the area that is now within the boundaries of Douglas County, Kansas was nearly 90 percent tallgrass prairie, part of a vast ecosystem that covered more than 170 million acres from Canada through Texas and east as far as Ohio. These rolling hills and plains were interrupted by fingers of forest that hugged north-facing slopes, and by the rivers and streams that snaked across the prairie.

Today, cultivated land, planted pasturelands and young woodlands have replaced the prairies and old-growth forests. But vestiges of the original landscape still can be found scattered across the county. As part of a project funded by the Douglas County Heritage Conservation Council, the Kansas Biological Survey & Center for Ecological Research has worked with county residents to develop strategies for conserving and restoring this natural heritage for future generations. This site provides links to organizations that connect private landowners with expertise and cost-share assistance to manage prairies and forests, and to re-establish these native ecosystems where they once thrived.

Visit Douglas County native prairies and forests open to the public; see our list with links to maps.

Request the following PDF files

Request these PDF files by emailing Jennifer Delisle at

  • Brochure: "Discovering our natural heritage: Prairies and forests of Douglas County, Kansas."
  • Brochure (general resource for landowners): "Native prairie hay meadows: A landowner's management guide."

Resources (including cost-share programs) for landowners

Kansas Dept. of Wildlife & Parks Habitat First Program

Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) programs

Kansas Forest Service

Planting Natives in Northeast Kansas - Online do-it-yourself guides

Nonprofit conservation organizations

Monarch Watch — free milkweed for restoration projects

Friends of the KAW

Grassland Heritage Foundation

Lawrence Bird Alliance (formerly known as Jayhawk Audubon Society)

Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams

Kansas Land Trust

Kansas Native Plant Society

The Nature Conservancy in Kansas

State and county agencies

Douglas County Conservation District

K-State Research and Extension - Douglas County

Kansas Biological Survey & Center for Ecological Research