NPS - National Park Service

06/10/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/10/2019 17:30

'Make Hay While the Sun Shines' at the Preserve

News Release Date:
June 10, 2019

STRONG CITY, Kansas: Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is pleased to announce the upcoming historic horse-drawn haying and raking demonstrations with four teams of draft horses on Saturday, June 22nd from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weather permitting.

Step back over 100 years as living history interpreters and the Kansas Draft Horse and Mule Association members demonstrate the process of making hay using 19th century machinery propelled by real horsepower. In its second year, the bottomland field will be part of the demonstration area along with the field directly adjacent to the visitor center. For safety, visitors will be shuttled to the bottomland field and back to the visitor center on a regular schedule throughout the day. Please obey all safety precaution signs and do not cross over the highway.

Having enough hay to last through the winter months was a necessity. Prairie hay was cut, cured, raked, and made into hay stacks. It was also stored loosely in the loft of the large 1882 limestone barn. Interpreters will be on site to talk about the cultural history of making hay on the property when it was the Spring Hill Farm and Stock Ranch and Benninghoven Ranches.

Women's typical roles will be depicted as living history interpreters demonstrate 19th century techniques of ranch stove cooking from 10 a.m. until noon, while preparing a meal for the ranch hands. See a table spread with typical foods of the day providing plenty of fuel for the hired hands that toil in their hard labor. Draft horses will have time to rest before going back to work.

On weekends in June visit with the volunteers at the one-room Lower Fox Creek Schoolhouse and learn about prairie education and the school's rich history. The school is furnished with historic desks, McGuffey Readers, a recitation bench, and other classroom items.

A 6.4-mile bus tour of the preserve's backcountry is available daily at 11 a.m. Monday through Friday and at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on weekends through October 29, 2019. There is no charge for the tours. Advance reservations for the bus tours are recommended, but arrangements can be made on the day of the visit if space is available. For more information, please call the park at (620) 273-8494 (hit 0). There is no admission charge and all programs and activities are free at the preserve.

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve invites you to discover the meaning of national parks, how your park inspires you - both in personal connections and memorable experiences. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is located two miles north of StrongCity on Kansas State Highway 177 (the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway) and is a unique public/private partnership between the National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy. For more information, visit the preserve's Facebook page at , website at, email e-mail us, or call the preserve at (620) 273-8494.
To learn more about The Nature Conservancy in Kansas, visit the Conservancy's website at or Facebook page at .