US FWS logo

            The United States Fish and Wildlife Service was a major partner in the initial establishment of the Great Plains Nature Center.  Land purchase, building construction and design of the exhibit hall were paid for by this agency.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service continues its participation in the direction of the GPNC through the GPNC Steering Committee.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a bureau within the Department of the Interior whose mission, working with others, is to conserve, protect, and enhance fish and wildlife and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

Major responsibilities include: migratory birds, endangered species, freshwater and anadromous fish, the National Wildlife Refuge System, wetlands, protecting habitat, conserving coastal arteas, and environmental contaminants.

Lori Jones is the FWS employee on staff at the Great Plains Nature Center.
She is also the Kansas coordinator for the Junior Duck Stamp contest.


Click here to see who submitted the winning entries for this year's Kansas Junior Duck Stamp contest and to find out how to get an entry form for next year.


Learn more about the Junior Duck Stamp contest by clicking here.

America the Beautiful –
The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series

Interagency Senior Pass

One of these passes could be your ticket to more than 2000 Federal Recreation sites! Each pass allows free entrance to national park sites and national wildlife refuges as well as covering amenity fees at national forest and grasslands, lands and waters managed by the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation, and day use fees at U.S. Army Corps of Engineer sites. These passes cover the driver and passengers in personal vehicles, and up to 4 adults at sites that charge per person fees. Children 15 years and under are free.

The Access, Annual, 4th Grade, Annual Military, and Senior Passes are available at the Owl’s Nest Gift Shop during normal business hours,
10 a.m. -4 p.m., Monday-Saturday.
Payment by cash or check only.
The cost for a lifetime senior pass (age 62 and over) increased
from $10 to $80 on August 28, 2017.

All rain check orders from July-August have been processed. If you still have not received your pass, please let us know. Some addresses we were given were returned by the post office as invalid.

New! Annual passes for Seniors for $20.00. If you buy them for 3 years, you can trade them in for a lifetime pass for $20.00 in the fourth year.

For more information about the passes, go to: From there you may click on any of the passes to find out more information about the passes. You may also order some of these passes online for a $10.00 processing fee.

Elsewhere in Kansas, these passes are also available at:

bulletCimarron National Grassland
bulletMost Corps of Engineers Project Lakes in the Kansas City District and Tulsa District. Call ahead to make sure of availability.

If you are interested in visiting one of the national wildlife refuges, there are several within a day's drive of Wichita.

bulletQuivira National Wildlife Refuge - about 75 miles NW of Wichita.
bulletFlint Hills National Wildlife Refuge  - about 85 miles NE of Wichita.
bulletMarais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge - about 145 miles ENE of Wichita.
bulletKirwin National Wildlife Refuge  - about 165 miles NW of Wichita.
bulletSalt Plains National Wildlife Refuge - about 75 miles SW of Wichita.
bulletSquaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge - about 200 miles NE of Wichita.
bulletWichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge - about 220 miles SSW of Wichita.

To learn more about these refuges and others across the nation
visit the National Wildlife Refuge Web Site.

To explore the regional web site for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service covering the central and northern Great Plains, try the Region 6 web site.  For the southern Great Plains, try the Region 2 web site.

Visit the main web site for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Other GPNC Partners:

bulletThe City of Wichita
bulletThe Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism
bulletFriends of the Great Plains Nature Center

Return to the GPNC home page

Questions or comments?  Send Email to Jim Mason Spidey
Or write us at: 
Great Plains Nature Center
6232 E. 29th Street North
Wichita, KS 67220-2200             Call:  316-683-5499            Fax:  316-688-9555