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Warren Nature Area - WNA

About

The Warren Nature Area (Frank Warren Park) and surrounding parks are located in the floodplain of the Shunganunga Creek. Warren Nature Area is bordered by Felker Park, Wells Park, and Big Shunga Park. KNI & TARC form part of its northern boundary. The Shunganunga Creek is its southern boundary.
 
See a GIS map of the parks. The address is 2720 SW Gage Blvd per the Shawnee County GIS system and is listed as Frank Warren Park.
 
The Frank Warren Park, Wells Park, Felker Park, and Big Shunga Park make up a nearly 300 acre green space within Topeka. A substantial portion of these parks are in a natural state. Both Warren Nature Area & Wells Park are all natural and contain trails. Parts of Big Shunga Park are also natural. Felker Park is the mostly soccer and ball fields. The natural parts of these parks make up an important wildlife and nature area in the City of Topeka. They contain grassland, wetland, woodland, and riparian habitats. The Shunganunga Trail runs through the southern edge of the area. The parks are managed by the City of Topeka Parks & Recreation.

Warren Nature Area Restoration Project

TAS supports restoration and conservation of wild areas at the Warren Naturea Area & surrounding parks.  Our goal is to network with other organizations to ensure that Warren Nature Area is managed to restore habitat important to birds and other wildlife.  Habitat loss and fragmentation are the most serious threats facing populations of birds across America.  By restoring native grasses, trees and other plants, we hope to rebuild habitat so wildlife can thrive.  Invasive non-native plant species is the biggest threat to this natural area. Restoring native biodiversity will make Warren Nature Area a better place for the wildlife and people.
 

Google Map of Warren Nature Area

Warren Nature Area& Vicinity

Activities for the Public

There are a variety of activities that are held annually at the Warren Nature Area and adjoining parks.  If you would like to participate, contact us.
  • Leisure Activities
    • General nature walks
    • Wildflower walks
    • Birding events
  • Citizen Scientist Participation
    • Bird counts
    • Butterfly counts
    • Monitor birdhouses
    • Monitor bat houses
    • Shunga bioblitz
  • Volunteer Work
    • Brush cutting
    • Prairie seed harvesting and seeding
    • Butterfly garden maintenance
    • Trash pickup

Habitat Maintenance/Improvements

Various improvements are being made to the park to improve the grasslands, wetlands, woodlands and creek. See a detailed description of maintenance and improvements.
 
Part of the park has been restored to native grasses, but there is a large area of the park that is still in smooth brome and fescue. Both of these grasses are not native and provide little to any habitat for wildlife.  The plan is to restore more areas of the grassland to native grasses & wildflowers.  There is also a problem with woody plants invading the grasslands.  
 
The wooded areas of the park have been invaded by Amur honeysuckle shrub. It crowds out all native plants and provides poor habitat for our wildlife. 
 
The wetlands are being invaded by cattails and trees.  This reduces the use of the wetlands by most wildlife. By restoring the wetlands to a more open habitat will increase its use by more species of wildlife.

Partners in the Project

The restoration of this important area is a collaborative effort by many groups. The following organizations are involved in this project.
Representatives of these groups meet at KNI to plan activities at the WNA. See the WNA group meeting minutes.

Historic 1942 Image

This image shows the area bounded by Gage Blvd on the west, 21st on the north, Randolph on the east, and 29th on the south.
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Jeff Hansen,
Jan 19, 2012, 8:13 AM
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