Visit Liberty

Explore Liberty, Missouri, and all it has to offer through the eyes and experiences of our guest bloggers. 

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May 19

Behind the Scenes Series - Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary

Posted on May 19, 2020 at 3:24 PM by Claire Rodgers

It’s a feeling. The one where you let out all that air you didn’t know was trapped inside. 

A sigh of relief.

That’s how visitors feel when they visit Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary, a wildlife preserve in Liberty that’s just one acre shy of 100 acres. 

A quick 10-minute drive from I-35, it’s become an oasis of sorts for Liberty natives and visitors alike. A destination for getting away. A place for meaningful connection, wildlife sightings and a bit of adventure.

“Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary exists to connect people with nature,” explains Anne Nickel, MLTNS Board President.

There’s a sense of peace when you drive up. And when you set out on one of the thirteen hiking trails on the property it feels like you’ve left the hustle of everyday life behind for just a bit.

Resized Map

“It’s easy to get wrapped up in your life, you don’t take the time to take a short hike,” explains Nickel. “But when you do, you notice something different each time. You experience a new connection and make a new memory.”

The wildlife preserve is a nonprofit organization that thrives on donors and volunteers. They offer tons of programs, like Live Animal Feedings, Children’s Garden Classes, and Summer Camps. These programs and the sanctuary itself are built on community support. 

You could say that the community thrives on MLTNS, too. We need that breath of fresh air, that sigh of relief, and that connection with nature.

Anne shared a story about one of her recent experiences at the sanctuary. In March the wildlife preserve underwent a prairie burn, a periodical habitat restoration technique. It resets the land - wiping away the old and restoring it to something new and healthy.

Burn 2

She explained that, although necessary, it felt a bit dark, especially given our collective human experience with the coronavirus these past several weeks. 

She documented the process, going out weekly to take pictures of the progress of the burn. But the black prairie soon turned into something brand new - green, lush, and restored.

Burn 3

“Within a month, I couldn’t tell that the area I was standing in had been burned,” said Nickel. “It was coming back to life.”

That’s how it feels to visit the sanctuary. It’s a bit like coming back to life. 

Here are just a few things visitors will enjoy at the sanctuary:
  • 13 different hiking trails
  • Wildlife like birds, snakes, deer, butterflies and fish
  • Creeks
  • Hundreds of different species of flowering plants
  • Picnic areas 
Click here for more information about visiting Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary.


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