Manhattan, Kan. – The Flint Hills Discovery Center (FHDC) is extremely honored to have received the Award of Excellence for the Prairie Garden Terrace and Trail project from the Kansas Museums Association (KMA). The Award of Excellence is defined by the KMA as being “given to an institution whose project or achievements are worthy of special recognition.”
In 2018, a team of FHDC staff members successfully applied for and received $10,000 in grant funding to create and install 15 large interpretive panels on the third floor terrace and throughout the native landscaping that encircles the building. The project developed over two years and included the work of professional interpreters, university interns, community consultants and private business partners. The Prairie Garden Terrace and Trail’s grand opening took place in April of 2019.
The interpretive trail educates guests about the Flint Hills eco-region utilizing adjacent natural, cultural and historic resources. It focuses on the hidden (soil microbes), the unique (monarch butterflies), the surprising (prescribed fire), the bizarre (dung beetles) and much more, all designed to end the misconception that the prairie is a boring, monotonous sea of grass.
“We are honored to receive such a prestigious award from the Kansas Museums Association,” said Stephen Bridenstine, Curator of Education. “This project took a lot of hard work and contributions from many people to become a reality. The Prairie Garden Terrace and Trail is a wonderful addition to the FHDC.”
The community is encouraged to visit the exhibit to enjoy spectacular views and see the native wildflowers and grasses. This rooftop space is part of the City of Manhattan’s park system. It features a unique green roof that channels water into custom landscaped beds that mirror the uplands, slopes and bottomlands of the Flint Hills.
This enhancement project was made possible by the Caroline Peine Charitable Foundation/The Manhattan Fund, Bank of America, N.A. Trustee, Flint Hills Discovery Center Foundation, McCownGordon Construction, City of Manhattan and Manhattan Parks & Recreation.
To learn more about the Prairie Garden Terrace & Trail, visit flinthillsdiscovery.org/prairiegarden, call 785-587-2726, or visit 315 S. 3rd St. in Manhattan.