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Prairie &
Wetland Center
Low Impact
Development Design



Belton, Missouri

Client:
Critsite Products, Inc.

Terra Technologies is retained by a regional agri-producer of Missouri and Kansas native prairie grasses and wildflowers for the design and construction oversight of production and educational facilities in Belton, Missouri.

Site amenities include a landscape of over 150,000 native prairie grasses, wildflowers, trees, and shrubs integrated into retaining walls, landscape beds, and generalized butterfly garden and prairie restoration plantings.  Additional architectural elements include a covered wagon, 60-foot windmill, a restored prairie cabin, and a limestone post fence.  The site represents the single largest planting of container-grown native plants throughout the Midwestern United States.

Additionally, the site contains several Low Impact Development technologies.  Rainfall from production areas on the site is collected in a series of biological remediation cells, also known as rain gardens.  Bioremediation swales and Hercules retaining walls provide additional infiltration and help to decrease local stormwater peak discharges.  Wetland plants metabolize nitrogen, phosphorus, and complex hydrocarbon structures prior to discharge and collection into a three-cell constructed wetland basin.  The rain garden and constructed wetland serve as the first demonstration project of its kind in Cass County, Missouri.

Greenhouse facilities provide production capabilities for 750,000 native plants onsite annually.  The company produces plants in the deep cell plug format for restoration projects, and a ½ gallon format for landscaping projects.   Trees and shrubs, produced with the Air Prune Method (APM) of production, provide native selections from 100+ species in one, three, and five gallon sizes.  All plant materials originate from the States of Missouri and Kansas.

The company, through its education coordinator, provides tours to elementary students to create knowledge and awareness of pre-development conditions in the prairie regions of Missouri.   Historical monuments provide a point of reference to the commitment made by pioneers in settling the area.  Students are instructed to recognize, preserve, and protect native plant communities, and are shown innovative technologies, including rain gardens, to improve water quality and biological diversity.  Approximately 40 schools will participate in on-site tours during 2006.

The facility opened in April 2005.  The company chose the Belton location as the Gateway to the Osage Plains, the historic grassland prairie region for western Missouri.

Praire & Wetland Center

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