Parkville Nature Sanctuary

Parkville Nature Sanctuary in Parkville, MO, is a large nature sanctuary, a significant work of land art, and a collaborative art piece. It is an important nesting site for many species of birds and has become a popular destination for bird watchers from all over the world. The Nature Sanctuary also serves as one of the few remaining habitats for wild populations of eastern box turtles. The area was originally 95 acres of bottomland forest, but several floods have caused significant changes to the landscape.  Today, the Parkville Nature Sanctuary occupies a little more than 26 acres of forested wetland containing ponds, sloughs, and dense thickets of vegetation.

The area surrounding Parkville Nature Sanctuary is primarily residential; however many people come to the area every day with no idea that this wonderful artwork exists right in their backyard. It has become a popular place for bird watching and nature photography and for those who would like to take a walk in the woods.

People interested in this land artwork can find tree blazes that mark trails around the sanctuary. There are also informational signs about Parkville Nature Sanctuary, its artist, and visitors throughout the area.

Some might not think to give the wildlife at Parkville Nature Sanctuary much attention but this area is extremely important for many species of birds, box turtles, and other animals that reside here. There are many people who take advantage of the beautiful trails every day; the sanctuary is close to home for many people who do not realize what they are walking next to.

Founding & Design

In the 1960s, a local land surveyor named Harold Courlander noticed that an unusually large number of box turtles were crossing a section of Missouri Highway 7 near Parkville, MO. He realized that the turtles were trying to reach a large wooded area with ponds and sloughs. This section of land would later become Parkville Nature Sanctuary (PNS).

Harold decided to create a shaded garden in this wooded area for turtles and other animals to safely cross the busy highway. In his yard, he put down stones and created a winding grid of paths that were too small for cars to drive on. He called this “turtle crossing” and it still exists today and is open to the public (PNS has since taken over maintenance of Courlander’s turtle crossing).

Harold also wanted to protect the area around PNS from development so he donated 95 acres to the Audubon Society of Missouri. The Audubon Society created a board and invited Courlander to be part of it. Courlander then began contacting highway departments, conservation agencies, and other organizations to ask for their help in preserving the land.

See the next in this series: Johnson County Museum

See the previous article in this series: Vaile Mansion

Serving Kansas City, MO

One Shot Water Heaters of Kansas City

Driving Direction To One Shot Water Heaters of  Kansas City, MO:

One Shot Water Heaters of Kansas City is located at 4102 N Harrison Ave, Kansas City, MO 64116. From Parkville Nature Sanctuary, Head east on E 12 St/Woodward Rd toward Park College Rd, now turn left onto Park College Rd, From Park College Rd turns left and becomes E 13th St. Then turn left onto MO-9 S/East St, Continue to follow MO-9 S, then stay onto MO-9 S/US-69 N, then continue onto MO-9 S, Take the Briarcliff Parkway exit. At the traffic circle, take the 4th exit onto NW Briarcliff Pkwy, At the traffic circle, take the 1st exit and stay on NW Briarcliff Pkwy, then continue onto NE 42nd St and stay right to continue on Parvin Rd, Take a final right onto N Harrison Ave, The destination is here i.e. One Shot Water Heaters.


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