Chloe Lowry Marsh
Points of Interest:
- Listen for the calls of the northern leopard frog in the spring at dusk along with a cacophony of other toads and frogs.
- Look for migrating rails and bitterns in the spring and fall. On occasion these species use the marsh for breeding habitat.
- Look for the blooms of swamp milkweed, wild iris, closed gentian, and Culver’s root in the prairie and marsh.
Natural Features Description:
Lowry marsh is vital habitat to eight plant species of conservation concern and is one of only three sites in Missouri known to support a population of the northern leopard frog. This complex of freshwater marsh and wet-mesic bottomland prairie is a rare remnant of a once more common natural community across the Central Dissected Till Plains ecoregion of north Missouri. Most of these sites have been ditched and drained and converted to crop ground. Hydrology – the flow of water into, through and out of the land – is the primary factor driving the development of wetlands. Here at Lowry Marsh the wetland is developed in an abandoned meander of the Weldon Fork of the Grand River. Unfortunately we do not know how Lowry Marsh functioned in the past, but today its hydrology is different than it was 200 years ago. Modifications to the floodplain (including the old railroad bed that bisects part of the marsh) and ditching and drainage on nearby lands have certainly altered the original wetland dynamics of this marsh. Despite this the vegetation and wetland fauna remain diverse and this site is still one of the best marshes left in the Grand River Hills ecoregion. Lowry Marsh is highly valuable as a reference site for wetland restoration and reconstruction efforts.
From the intersection of Highway 136 and Highway FF in Princeton, go north on Highway FF just over a mile. Turn left (west) on to gravel County Road 165 and travel this for about two miles to the area parking lot. The old railroad berm makes a good trail to access the marsh and bottomland prairie. Hunting is permitted.