Places We Protect

Marmaton River Bottoms Prairie Wetland


Open prairie wetland.
Marmaton Prairie Wetland Open prairie wetland. © Stew Pagenstecher

Marmaton River Bottom Prairie Wetland contains the largest tract of unplowed prairie wetland remaining in Missouri.



With more than 120 bird species, almost 250 plant species, and the largest unplowed tract of wet prairie in the Osage Plains, Marmaton River Bottoms Prairie Wetland Preserve is a truly remarkable place. The property, which is bordered by the Marmaton River, features open woodlands and one of the state’s largest concentrations of prairie wetlands.

Why You Should Visit

The wide expanse of prairie wetland and open woodlands provide a rare glimpse into Missouri's natural heritage.


The site is characterized by open woodlands, marshes, sloughs, and prairie wetlands, and is bordered to the east by the Marmaton River. Visitors should come prepared to get their feet wet - literally! There are no designated trails.

Why TNC Selected this Site

Marmaton contains the largest tract of unplowed wet prairie remaining in Missouri and one of the state's largest concentrations of prairie wetlands. The Conservancy identified these lands as critical to protect because wet prairie is one of the rarest grassland types on Earth and provides vital wildlife habitat. Additionally, prairie wetlands hold soil and water in place, reducing flooding, erosion, and drought.

What TNC Is Doing

Ongoing management, including the use of controlled burns, helps native species flourish and keeps invasive species in check, restoring the open woodlands and prairie wetland to a state similar to that which existed prior to European settlement.

Give Nature a hand

Volunteers offer the Conservancy a way to complete more critically important work while developing lasting friendships and having a lot of fun. Learn more about volunteer opportunities with The Nature Conservancy in Missouri.




Hiking, bird watching, wildflower viewing, exploring, photography.


587 acres

Explore our work in this region


Almost 250 native wildflower species, including swamp milkweed, prairie ironweed, willow aster, and marsh elder.

What to see: Wildlife

More than 120 native bird species, including eleven duck species, bald eagles, snipes, sandpipers, double-crested cormorants, and grebes.


Sturdy shoes, hat, sunscreen, binoculars and plenty of water.


Call 314-968-1105 or e-mail