The Wichita Wild Habitat Areas provide places for people within the city to experience the native habitats of Kansas. Prairies, woodlands, wetlands and streams are encompassed within the Wichita Wild parks.
These areas may be visited any day, year round, and offer a refreshing break from busy city life, whether you want to take a brisk hike, do a little birdwatching or just enjoy some peace and quiet.
Out of the 144 public parks, 12 parks and 3 undeveloped properties are designated Wichita Wild. Maintaining a natural appearance within the parks requires specific management goals and procedures.
Specialized land management is required to maintain the natural appearance of these parks. Non-native plants such as Johnson Grass, Garlic Mustard, Bush Honeysuckle and Eastern Red Cedar threaten the health of native prairie and riparian forest habitats.
Several management techniques are used to combat the infestation of invasive plant species, including volunteer service projects, chemical or mechanical removal, and prescribed or controlled burning.
Prescribed burns are implemented by trained staff from Park Maintenance from January through March. Fire is a natural occurrence in prairie habitats which controls the spread of invasive species, removes excessive plant debris that blocks sunlight from reaching the soil which is required for the health of native grasses, and provides essential nutrients to the soil.