Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, in Kansas, is a natural preserve established in 1996 to protect a portion of the the once vast prairie ecosystem that once covered the continent. The preserve follows a different model from most national parks, where the preserve is managed by the United States National Park Service, but the land is privately owned. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is open all year, 24 hours a day, including the hiking trails; however, camping is not allowed. Sky darkness ranges from class 2 to class 3 in the Bortle scale, and a stargazer shared the following with EarthSky: “It is public land with really dark skies. It is pretty close to Kansas City.”
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.