The Platte Land Trust and Missouri Prairie Foundation (MPF) have joined forces to save Snowball Hill Prairie. In June 2015, the Platte Land Trust, with the backing of MPF and Burroughs Audubon, participated in an auction to buy this prairie to save it from development, and they were the winning bid.
Snowball Hill is one of the last, best quality original prairies remaining in the greater Kansas City area. Without the land being in conservation ownership, the likelihood of it being developed and lost forever is very high. Platte Land Trust transferred title to the Missouri Prairie Foundation, who now owns and manages the property.
Snowball Hill is the last, best quality original prairie remaining in the greater Kansas City area. Without the land being in conservation ownership, the likelihood of it being developed and lost forever is very high. Small parcels of high quality habitat are vital to the animals who live and migrate through the Kansas City region.
Some facts about Snowball Hill:
♦ Located in Cass County, MO, about 37 miles south of Kansas City
♦ 74 acres with about 30 acres of unplowed prairie.
♦ Prairie is high quality with notable prairie plant species.
♦ A population of the interior bluegrass (Poa interior) which is listed S1 (State Critically Imperiled).
♦ Other prairie species present include Prairie Blazing Star, Rough Blazing Star, Sweet Coneflower, White Prairie Clover, Compass Plant, Ashy
Sunflower, Michigan lily, four species of phlox and numerous sedges and rushes.
♦ It is called Snowball Hill because the hill is covered with white prairie flowers in the spring and summer, and it was a favorite sledding hill many years ago.
In 1987, Missouri Department of Conservation botanist Tim Smith wrote: “Snowball Hill is probably the most diverse and scenic prairie located in the six-county KC Inventory area. At 21.0 acres, is also one of the largest remaining unplowed prairie tracts. The steep topography creates a gradient of moisture classes within the tract. The wet-mesic portion of the prairie could yet yield listed plant species historically known from similar habitats in the region.”