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Great Plains Nature Center – Visit Wichita – Park Travel Review

Hi everyone and welcome to Happy Trails
hiking today we’re in Wichita Kansas at the Great Plains Nature Center we’re a free facility I’ll say we’re the
cheapest date in Wichita, by far. each year we have roughly hundred ninety two
two hundred thousand people that we have either through programs walk you through
the door we’re use the trail so we’re about the third or fourth largest
attraction in Wichita be hind the zoo and Botanica and and some of those so but we’re the
only free facility so we’ve got that going for us but what people can expect
when they come through the doors just an interactive experience and learning
about wildlife and habitats of the Great Plains region that’s what what we’re
about to try and get people to learn about wildlife their habitats so that in
the future they appreciate those areas here in the city of Wichita our third
partner out of four that homes chisholm creek park as well as the other parts of
job may see your tour or have seen already but they on the outside of the
building and take care of all the upkeep of that and then allow us to use
Chisholm Creek Park as a classroom of sorts
so the fourth partner that we’ve had that we just added is our fringe group
we’ve got a very active fringe group they have the toys that that we get
money from the city and they hire employees naturalist and people that we
have here we have about 15 people on staff local
we have a wonderful gift shop it’s set up and I’m like ready to do that but
with that I think we’ll go ahead and get started just a few quick tour the
facility itself is designed to be self-guided people that come in we have
school groups come in on their own we have naturalist so go out with them
either here and work through stations or we also go out and non-peak times and go
out into schools and some of those words it’s volunteering for us now after
retirement so that’s pretty special then we have a lot of people who friends like
that we’ve got a great friends grew our friends membership numbers about 350
people people wanted to get involved with the Friends group how would they do
that make sure you get on our website check
that out they can give us a call our website we just revamped it last year we
will put a link to that below we have some animals that we have for display as
well as educational purposes all the animals that we have aren’t necessarily
for display land they use a lot of those those tools to reach Canada show kids
what we use them in them when they’re not out on programs we keep them here so
that people can see when we have volunteered like Allen community helped
us with animal care they helped us with front desk duty to help us with special
events or programs things like that bring her to please and we have a great
volunteer some salves 8,000 hours that we can’t amount to about six full-time
control yes we’ve got as you can see we’re coming into the
we just went past the Coleman on it or iam the Fred Maricopa foundation Koch
Industries here in which stall fredericksburg Foundation has been a
partner of ours since we we began with a major donation to forming a habitat hall
we had some problems with displays when they were destroyed in the natural
disaster up in Oregon the company went bankrupt and we lost a lot of money
right off the bat and Fred Maricopa foundation stepped in and helped us get
the exhibits back on track yes people come in and they’re going to see
different habitats within the prairie from tall grass on the wetlands right
hairy corridors river systems tall grass prairie stretches from south-central
Kansas clear on month almost with brass beds short break weary about the
southwest Kansas it’s pretty notorious as well you know we didn’t want anything
too complicated when we tried that field all the senses when we started so you
come in here your kids can feel what dear – like the raccoons on Kyle sounds
tactile part of it as well would touch some of the tracks that we have yeah
those are neat that’s really cool for like I wouldn’t know what a what a
beaver track with like right I’ve never actually seen a beaver we were working
on it and then there’s sound then we’ve got touch table Perry over here with some of that stuff and you know when we
built this place a lot of these these specimens do come from Kansas career
National Wildlife Refuge shine bottles places like that some of the taxidermy
work with the specimens were from Kansas everyone
but this is Bob grants wildlife Observatory named after our first
director in who’s whose brainchild is the Great Plains Nature Center bottles
sitting naturalist with the wish saw Bob program and coming helpers at the time
the two Mason were sitting naturalist gave a lot about programs tried to tire
when wild life together with kids and education Bob decided they needed a
place to try and do that they really couldn’t do it alone this way them to
the state to hell and they couldn’t do it together so they went to the Fish and
Wildlife Service between the three of them they were able to get it done
twenty four hundred gallon aquarium role look at with native Kansas speech then we have
you know channel cat where his car species some fish species currently
there are about 25,000 recognized species of fish in the world divided
into thirty five living orders within Kansas a hundred and forty four species
are recorded from about twenty four families in sixteen orders water rights issues are big a big thing
now senior water rights things like that that’s things those are some issues that
people are talking about you know the Western campus in the river visit flow
you know so there’s there’s a lot there’s a lot of things make some
wildlife now they’re trying to make people aware back when we built this
place to see the muscle for much of an issue now there’s a huge issue almost
all the way across the country yep they spread the only way they’re
spread is in both some villages big buckets so we tried that and we’ve
gotten in some of our reservoirs in that the overpass Colorado now but zebra
mussels other invasive species it’s it’s probably one a big problem facing
wildlife as a whole department basic species you know whether their aquatic
terrestrial whatever and so we try to educate people about some of that here
this was you know foreshadowed on the point
25 years ago they’re a huge problem that is a snake yeah and this gap here is one
indication of how variable wildlife can be to Western rat snake people used to
call them black rat snakes and they come in a wide variety over from a not many
trees but as we get close to you folks in Missouri you let some over to our
side of the fences when we throw them over the river that’s all right so then
you know as people leave there’s there’s certain things and we want people to
walk out here with appreciative appreciation of her and understanding of
them and that was a quote that we picked it to time that it’s pretty poignant as
far as the message that we try to get across to people whether we’re here on
site doing something else we try and talk about conservation we try and talk
about the wife uses of natural resources which include things like hunting and
fishing things like that and you give people to appreciate a lot of places a
lot of things that we have as much as we enjoyed our tour of the Nature Center it
was time to get out into nature and see what they were conserving there are several trails at the Nature
Center and we decided to do a full loop of the whole park it was about two miles Chisholm Prix Park and several other
parts are part of the system called Wichita wild and that was also started
by Bob brass who started this a while ago they just took the initiative to
research some of the natural habitats we have some sections here in this part of
unplowed Prairie for a wildlife habitat that people could also enjoy and so
they’re managed with a little bit of a different purpose as you saw Swanson at
Pawnee Murray then your typical like neighborhood there so we do a lot with
invasive species and habitat restoration and things like that
that’s called Wichita everywhere we went on the Nature Center grounds we seem to
find wildlife it was really fun seeing them in their natural habitats Amanda
even brought out some turtle food for us to feed the turtles so that we can watch
them come from far distances across the pond he’s like yeah I heard it let’s see
there read on him that’s a red-eared slider
they’ll be painted turtles probably the two most common that we have laughs
snapping turtles also there’s fish generally rough fish in here what we
call rough fish things like carp and 25 species of wild flowers 38 species of
trees and shrubs 20 species of mammals 160 species of birds 21 species of
reptiles and amphibians and 13 species of fish here they all come we look at
him come back honey that one oh right there there don’t
thing you know 40 50 yards away okay it’s worth the what the effort but it’s
cool to know that if you just kind of wait and just hang out and be patient
for a minute that that you know cuz you’d probably just walk right on
through already but you can see him you see how far they’re coming yeah they’re
everywhere oh I can hear the frogs too bigot is there’s a carp down there with
those turtles yeah Wow okay humor soon we’re gonna have a whole
cubby of them yeah oh wow it’s fun see the wall in the real pointy head he
just likes it okay you guys following the leatherback herds of Turtles coming pancake Kurtis yeah we certainly had
great fun feeding the carp and the turtles as well as the geese that showed
up a little while later mark and Amanda had to go finish their
day out at work but we had the opportunity to hike with our new friend
Jessica from visit Wichita the mission of the Great Plains Nature
Center is to provide opportunities to the public to learn about natural
resources especially wildlife and plant species of the Great Plains region you we really want to thank mark and Amanda
for showing us around the Great Plains Nature Center today it was an awesome
tour and a great place to come visit this Matt came from Happy Trails hiking
thanks for watching

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22 thoughts on “Great Plains Nature Center – Visit Wichita – Park Travel Review

  1. YAAAAYy Love Nature Parks . Well done Matt and Kay . Thank you kindly for sharing your journey . Howie and missy .

  2. Full watch and like # 4 . Keepin coming like this and we will be watching for sure . We support Nature Parks in Canada . Howie and missy

  3. Absolutely awesome friends wonderful video friends sledgehammered that like button and sharing to our YouTube fam playlist

  4. I love the tour. Reminds me of the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan, KS but with an actual park around it! Wow, I knew we had a lot of different fish here, but didn’t know we had that many! The zebra mussels have really become a big problem here in recent years. Ooh, I love snakes! I have seen that quote before and love it! So many turtles! Is it Trekker’s family reunion? This location has been on our “maybe” list for a while. It’s a “definite” now! If only to see that magnificent tree tunnel! Great job, guys!

  5. Our natural environment has so much to offer us. So much to learn , grow and under from. I am incredibly thankful there are parks that provide education for all.

    A fantastic presentation as always Kay, you do such a wonderful job sharing these magnificent places.


  6. This was so good! I loved the tour and the nature center. It's obvious the pride they take in the center and grounds. Definitely a place to visit when in Wichita! My parents used to say, "We're off like a herd of turtles." HAHA If they could've seen those turtle moving toward the snack! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Hello Happy Trails Hiking super tour Nature Center. Great Video! Full watch and enjoyed . Have a great day:)

  8. Great impressions and information on the Great Plains Nature Park. Many thanks for sharing. My thumb is up and you've got a new friend. I would be glad to welcome you on my channel, too. Let's get connected 😉

  9. Fantastic information! The nature center is very well designed and impressive. Wow never seen a beaver? I think it’s great to see Kansas beyond the plains. For example, I didn’t associate wetlands with Kansas. Loved the fish voice over

  10. That is a cool looking place. That is cool how it has that Coleman Auditorium. What is the story about that? Wow, 6000 volunteer hours. I love places like this. Really liked the voice over part. It sounded like National Geographic haha. Man, they have a ton of turtles there.

  11. What a very cool Nature Center!! Oh my gosh, a heard of turtles! Very pretty area! Thanks for sharing! -Annaleis

  12. Cool I did not know of this. It is only about 2 1/2 hrs south of me, I am going to have to head down there and check it out! Thanks for sharing about it!

  13. you can tell that they are very passionate about what they do. It is good to see a program that is working to preserve nature and wildlife.

  14. Great video!! Kansas is one of the 5 state's I have left to visit!! I'll have to keep this place in mind

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