Rockefeller Experimental Tract
In 1956, KU professors E. Raymond Hall and Henry S. Fitch received funding from John D. Rockefeller Jr. to purchase this 160-acre farm for the purpose of conserving a small native prairie and testing methods of prairie management. Prior to that, the 160-acre Rockefeller Experimental Tract was a farm typical of those in the region, with a varied land use history. In 1957, KU began a long-term prairie experiment that continues for five decades, testing four methods of management: use of burning, grazing, mowing and no treatment. The Rockefeller Prairie Trail, which is ADA-compliant and open to the public, runs through spectacular meadows undergoing restoration, and alongside the 10-acre prairie remnant, the site of numerous field experiments, to a deck built by KU architecture students and overlooking the Kansas River Valley, with KU's main campus visible in the distance. Interpretive signage helps visitors understand the past, present and future value of this site and other protected lands. To walk the trail, park at the trailhead parking lot.