June 8, 2019
Dear Prairie Guards and Friends of Mount Mitchell.
I have good news; it’s time to celebrate!
Thanks to the generosity of our many donors, we reached a milestone on Monday June 3rd when we became the new owners of the former Mitchell meadow and farmland next to the Park. We fulfilled our contract with the sellers by taking out a $250,000 loan.
We will continue to fundraise to pay off the loan so that we own it free and clear, but now we will be able to begin the first phase of the expansion of our educational mission by making the historic features of the Park accessible to more people of all ages and physical abilities.
Plans for the new access road and parking area have commenced and we will begin applying for grants to fund these improvements. Now that we own the property more funding opportunities are available to us.
On Friday June 7th the Prairie Guards participated in the first Match Day organized by the Wamego Community Foundation. Out of 36 participants we were 6th in total contributions with a total of $10,550. That qualified us for a match of $2,000.
Another aspect of this good news is that the Wamego, Manhattan, and Fort Riley communities are now more aware of Mount Mitchell. Our “Donate Now” sign along highway 99 and our Match Day participation has raised our profile among community members.
This year’s Mitchell Farm and Prairie Celebration was a muted success with the cancelation of our guest speaker and the threat of rain. However, those who did attend enjoyed a lovely day. A colorful display of Missouri primrose, verbena, and spiderwort greeted wildflower walk participants. Thank you to our docents, Diane Barker, Sue Smith, Hallie Hatfield, Rob Meseke, and Marci Spaw. As always a huge thank you to Morris and Michelle Crisler for graciously hosting this annual event at their historic home.
We are hoping to have a fall wildflower walk this October when big bluestem and Indian grass reach their majestic glory, and the fall asters and sunflowers are in bloom.
If you can, get out to the Park now and see the vibrant display of summer wildflowers. You can now walk into the newly acquired hay meadow on a mowed extension of the ruts of the Topeka Fort Riley Road.
Thank you all for your help in creating this magical place. We hope that you will continue that support as we enter this new phase of the Park’s development. And of course we still have that mortgage to pay off.
Michael Stubbs, for the Mount Mitchell Prairie Guards Board, Christy Crenshaw, Bruce Waugh, John Hund, and Kathryn Mitchell Buster