The University of Kansas Field Station (KUFS) is dedicated to field-based environmental research and education. The Field Station is located within the transition zone (ecotone) between the eastern deciduous forest and tallgrass prairie biomes. Faculty, students, and others use the 1,375 ha (3,400 acres) of diverse native and managed habitats, experimental systems, support facilities, and long-term databases to undertake an outstanding array of scholarly activities. The mission of KUFS is to foster scholarly research, environmental education, and science-based stewardship of natural resources.
We will meet Scott Campbell, Research Associate and Associate Director for Outreach and Public Service with the Kansas Biological Survey, at the Armitage Education Center (NESA Field Office on the inset map) at 9:00 a.m.. Scott will give us an overview of the work that KUFS does, show us some research sites that aren’t open to the public, and take questions from the group. He’ll also talk to us about the hiking trails associated with the facility. Following Scott’s presentation, we'll drive down the road to park our vehicles for the hike. We will hike the Field Biology Loop in the Fitch Reservation, then hike the Quarry Trail up to the Rockefeller Prairie Trail, and down the Roth Trail back to our vehicles.
Outings like this are one way our local Sierra Club group raises money to fund operations. A donation of $3 would be gratefully accepted.
If participants like, we can finish the day by going out to eat on Mass St. in Lawrence.
• KUFS website
• Trails map
• Rockefeller Native Prairie
• Driving Map
From I-70: Take the East Lawrence exit. As you leave the toll booth you will come to a T where you meet up with US 59/24. Turn right. You are now looking for the junction of 59/24 and 24/40.
From K-10: As you enter the outskirts of Lawrence, K-10 turns into 23rd St. Stay on this until you come to Massachusetts St. Turn right on Mass St and head downtown. Go all the way through downtown on Mass St and cross the Kaw River on the bridge (note the Bowersock dam and mill, producing clean renewable hydropower since 1874). Once across the bridge, you are on US 59/24. Keep going until the reach the junction of 59/24 and 24/40.
The entry onto 24/40 from 59/24 is a curve to the right (you'll pass a classic roadside attraction called TeePee Junction, built in 1928). From the junction of US 59/24 and US 24/40, proceed 1½ miles east on US 24/40 (past the Lawrence airport) to 1600 Road. Following green signs with directions to the KU Field Station, turn left (north) onto 1600 Road.
It is almost exactly four miles north of HWY 24-40 on 1600 Road (as you get further down the road, note the Native Medicinal Plant Research Garden). Stay on 1600 as it curves left, winds, and goes right over a bridge. After the bridge, turn left, following the green KUFS sign. Stay on the gravel road. You'll eventually pass the Suzanne Ecke Nature Reserve and Fitch Reservation. Continue the hill. 1600 Road turns into Wild Horse Road as it enters Jefferson County at the top of the hill as the road leaves the floodplain. The address of the Armitage Center is 350 Wild Horse Road in case anybody wants to enter it into the mapping app on their smart phone. It's the first right after Snake Farm Road.
Look for a prominent entrance sign for the KU Field Station on your right at the destination, then follow the gravel driveway in about 200 yards to a cluster of buildings and a parking lot, where Scott will meet us.
During the sign-in process all participants on Sierra Club outings are required to sign a standard liability waiver. If you would like to read the Liability Waiver before you choose to participate in an outing, please go to: http://www.sierraclub.org/outings/chapter/forms/.