Star School Hill Prairie Conservation Area

Driving Directions

From Rock Port, take Highway 275 north 12 miles to area.

Highlights

This area provides a variety of habitats for a number of rare and endangered plants and animals.

About This Area

The Conservation Department purchased 129 acres in 1989. In 1994, the Department added a 160 acre tract a short distance south of the original purchase.

Star School Hill Prairie Conservation Area is characterized by rugged loess hills adjacent to the Missouri River floodplain. These windblown hills were formed by prevailing westerly winds during the glacial period. Loess deposits over bedrock sometimes reach 150 to 200 feet in depth. Loess soil drains very rapidly, creating hot, dry prairie habitat that supports unique communities. Loess hill prairie communities are endangered in Missouri, and the small remnants that still exist are threatened by overgrazing, woody invasion, erosion, and homesite development.

The 12-acre Loess Hill Prairie is primarily managed by the use of controlled burning and selective cutting to control the invading woody species. The prairie provides habitat for 12 plant species and two animal species on the Missouri Species of Conservation Concern Checklist.

The remainder of the area is managed for a wide range of game and non-game wildlife species. The area is available to the public for a variety of outdoor activities compatible with resource management.

Star School Hill Prairie Natural Area features dry prairies on ridge tops which can be seen from the parking lots on both the north and the south tracts. These ridge tops offer expansive views of the Missouri River valley - on a clear day, four states (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas) can be seen. Over a dozen prairie plants are Missouri species of conservation concern and are more typically found in the Great Plains 100 miles or more to the west.

Erosion of mounds of wind blown loess soil well over 100 feet deep has created a steep and rugged landscape.

Lewis and Clark camped in this vicinity on their journey up the Missouri River.

General Information

Northwest

Atchison

816-271-3100

Owned by MDC

Activities
Activity
(Activity Explanations)
Comments
(Population Definition)
Bird Watching  Get the Audubon Society of Missouri Conservation Area Bird List.  
Camping - Primitive Area   
Demonstrations  Star School Hill Prairie consist of Loess Hill Prairie communites which are endangered in Missouri. The 12 acre prairie remnant that still exists is managed by control burning and selective cutting. 
Hunting-Deer Fair population. Deer regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  
Hunting-Squirrel Fair population.  
Hunting-Turkey Good population. Turkey regulations are subject to annual changes. Please refer to the Spring Turkey or Fall Deer and Turkey Booklet for current regulations.  

Go to Top of Page

Conservation Department Facilities
Facility Item Name Count Comments
Camping Area - Individual Campsites    
Parking Lot    

Go to Top of Page

Features
Feature Item Name Count Size Comments
Designated Natural Area Star School Hill Prairie Natural Area 15.00 acres Natural area contains many rare Missouri plant species. See natural areas for more information.  
Designated Natural Area Star School Hill Prairie Natural Area 70.00 acres Natural area contains many rare Missouri plant species. See natural areas for more information.  

Go to Top of Page

Land Cover Types
Land Type Acres Comments
Forest and Woodland 80.00  
Old Field 33.00  
Native Prairie 12.00  
Crop Land 76.00  
Grassland (non-prairie) 53.00  
Savanna 30.00  
Other 5.00 Roads and parking lots 
Total Area Acres:289.00 

Go to Top of Page

Designated Trails
Trail Name Trail Type Length
No Designated Trails

Go to Top of Page

Shooting Range General Information

This area has no shooting ranges.

Go to Top of Page