Audubon of Kansas (AOK) owns and manages three unique wildlife sanctuaries. More sanctuaries are planned for the future. These sanctuaries are made possible by donations of lands and contributions to support stewardship. The goal of AOK’s Sanctuary Initiative is to build an archipelago of sanctuaries that helps conserve land, preserve legacies, and provide opportunities for public enjoyment and education.
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Hutton Niobrara Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary
The Niobrara Sanctuary is a 5,000-acre ranch and wildlife sanctuary located along the Niobrara National Scenic River near Bassett, NE. It consists of spectacular scenery, including upland prairie, steep canyons, woodlands, and high bluffs that overlook meadows, marshes, and riparian forest along the river, which forms the Sanctuary’s northern boundary. Two guesthouse provide opportunities for visitors to experience the diverse wildlife and dark skies.
Connie Achterberg Wildlife-Friendly Demonstration Farm
This 240-acre property is a very special central-Kansas farm in Lincoln County. Creeks meander through substantial forest and diverse habitats that were once common on Kansas farms. AOK has planted filter strips of native grasses and wildflowers along the edge of every field. Pollinator habitat complements an eight-acre remnant prairie meadow. Brown Thrashers, Wild Turkeys, kingbirds, woodpeckers, and wrens are among the regulars.
Mt. Mitchell Heritage Prairie
The 47-acre Mt. Mitchell Heritage Prairie is located three miles south and a half mile east of Wamego, Kansas. This prairie remnant is associated with Captain William Mitchell, a key figure on the Underground Railroad prior to the Civil War. Changing arrays of wildflowers are in bloom throughout most of the growing season, and the historical nature of the property makes it a destination at any season. Trails extend to the summit of the prominent hill.