Prairie Park Nature Center, Lawrence

4.4
#8 of 15 in Wildlife in Kansas
Prairie Park Nature Center opened in 1999 as an 80-acre nature preserve on the east side of Lawrence. It has since expanded to 100 acres.

The preserve incorporates wetlands, woodlands and prairie habitats and a five acre lake. Visitors may see a wide variety of native Kansas wildlife on the property including beavers, deer, bobcats and birds of prey.

The nature center preserve and education building are operated by the Lawrence Parks and Recreation Department and funded by City of Lawrence sales tax revenue.

Prairie Park offers walking trails for bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts as well as educational programs to the public, schools and local groups.

Mary’s Lake is just a short walk from the education building and is open for public fishing. It is stocked with fish by the Kansas Department of Wildlife & Parks.

The education building features natural habitat dioramas, displays and live animals, including a live bird of prey collection with eagles, owls,9 hawks and falcons.

(All information for this page was sourced from either the Prairie Park Nature Center or City of Lawrence, KS websites)
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Prairie Park Nature Center Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
28 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • This a great place to walk with plenty of trails. The natural layout and wildflowers are beautiful. There are signs of wildlife and it is also plenty of room to bring a stroller and small children  more »
  • Sideways plus walking trails. A piece of woods in the city. Quiet and peaceful. Shhh don't tell anyone.  more »
  • I liked this place a lot because of the variety of stuffed and living animals they have as well the information that came with them. However, I felt that the place is not being well-taken care, which ...  more »
Google
  • This is by far my favorite park in Lawrence. It's a different experience, because it is more secluded. I think because of the sort of activity it invites, people clean up after themselves.The lake is really nice to sit by on nice days. There are paved paths, grass paths, and desire paths, so it offers a variety of walking experiences.
  • Nice walking trails and a nature center that is packed with animals. Good birding spot.
  • Came for a birthday party, this was a great place for the kids. A little diamond in the rough, the staff is very friendly and helpful, and answered all the kids questions. Next time we come to Lawrence we will definitely stop back!
  • This is a first class nature center. My wife and I drove from Colorado Springs to attend a graduation at KU. We had a little time to kill so we decided to visit the nature center. We got more than we bargained for in a good way. We went on a walk around the center and observed the many types of birds there and I got some great pictures. The trails are really great and are not overrun. On the day we went (May 13, 2017) there were not many people there. I didn't expect to see all of the animals in the building but it was great. The staff that day was excellent. We had a lot of questions and they were patient and well informed. Even though we were there just before closing, we were never rushed. This is a professional staff and we were grateful for it. It was one of the best highlights of our visit. If we are ever back in Lawrence, we'll return to the nature center.
  • Great place to spend time and relax or go for a walk. It's also dog friendly but they have to stay on a leash.
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