The 55-acre KCPL Prairie Wetland includes 23.6 acres of wetlands in three cells on the western border of the City of Gardner. The wetland serves three equally important purposes. First, it may improve the quality of water in Big Bull Creek and Hillsdale Lake by reducing the nutrient load from the water discharged from urban and rural land. Second, it functions as an outdoor classroom, providing educational and observational opportunities for area schools, organizations, and individuals. The enhanced habitat for wetland flora, fauna, and wildlife offers a unique blend of nature, ecology and conservation in a wetland environment. Finally, the project mitigates losses of wetland habitat.
The wetland is available for on-site classroom field trips and special events. Resource materials now in de development will explain how a wetland works in the environment and how the individual cells function. Currently, several mowed areas linked by footbridges ser e as pathways through the wetland. Nature trails wind around the wetland to make it more accessible and a wildlife observation blind has been constructed.
The site has attracted a wide variety of visitors and many conservation organizations. The Burroughs Audubon Society and the Sierra Club assisted in developing the species lists.