Places to Go: Sand Prairie Conservation Area

By Larry Archer | May 1, 2021
From Missouri Conservationist: May 2021
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Sand Prairie Conservation Area

Former sandbars provide unique habitat

Part prairie, part sandbar, Sand Prairie Conservation Area (CA) offers visitors a look at one of Missouri’s rarest natural communities.

Located on 200 acres in southeast Missouri’s Scott County, Sand Prairie CA’s unique habitat is the result of river channels that formerly flowed through the area, according to MDC’s Mississippi Lowland East District Supervisor Tim Kavan.

“It’s basically the alluvial deposits of the Ohio River, Mississippi River channels,” Kavan said. “The area is about 300–350 feet above sea level, and it’s basically an old remnant sandbar from those river channels that ran through this area many years ago.”

The area draws a wide variety of bird species, but come spring, the area’s amphibians make themselves known, he said.

“When we get those warm spring rains and get a few impoundments of water that might stick around for 48 to 72 hours, the prairie opens up to a chorus of frogs — eastern spadefoot and Illinois chorus frogs,” he said. “There’s not a lot of swamp or shallow impoundments on the area, but they don’t need much either. You can witness the ambiance from anywhere on the area if the timing is right.”

This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber

Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld

Associate Editor - Larry Archer

Photography Editor - Cliff White

Staff Writer - Bonnie Chasteen
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek

Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter

Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner

Circulation - Laura Scheuler