Kinston Prairie

Kingston Prairie Preserve

Category: Preservation and enhancement (The Nature Conservancy).
Location: Three miles southeast of Stayton, Oregon near the Santiam River.
Size: 152 acres.


Due to the presence of shallow soils and basalt bedrock outcrops, this site was never used for agriculture and has retained much of its original prairie vegetation. Kingston Prairie Preserve is now owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy. The site has both dry upland areas and wet meadows and serves as a prime example of the ecosystem that once dominated much of the Willamette Valley. The wet meadows are dominated by the native Deschampsia cespitosa along with a diversity of native species including Camassia spp. and Lomatium bradshawii.


The Nature Conservancy has been using controlled burns to limit invasion by woody vegetation, preserve plant diversity, and help restore nutrients to the soil. Volunteers have been utilized to remove invasive species like Cytisus scoparius and the Rubus spp. from the prairie. Ecologists have been monitoring the native species and plan to restore disturbed areas around the perimeter of the site. Wildlife biologists have used the preserve to study habitat needs of the Western Meadowlark and other songbirds known to be declining in the Willamette Valley.

Access and Contact

The Kingston Prairie Preserve is located 1.7 miles eastbound on Kingston-Lyons Drive outside of Stayton. There are a few trails open to the public. Dogs are not allowed. Contact The Nature Conservancy at 541-343-1010 for more information.