ASTC Member Profile: Flint Hills Discovery Center – Manhattan, Kansas


Mission: To serve as a principal place for learning and understanding about the tallgrass prairie and the Flint Hills ecoregion in particular; to assure its long-term preservation.

The Flint Hills Discovery Center, located in Manhattan, Kansas and funded in part by the city of Manhattan, opened its LEED Gold-certified building in April 2012. The center is dedicated to inspiring the public to celebrate and protect the Flint Hills region in the midwestern U.S. In addition to an immersive experience theater and hosting temporary exhibits, the Flint Hills Discovery Center has seven permanent exhibits:

  • Shaping Winds and Waters explores the geological history of the Flint Hills region.
  • Blowing Winds in a Tallgrass Prairie showcases the plants and wildlife of the area.
  • The Underground Forest exhibit is about the ecosystem below the surface of the prairie.
  • Winds of the Past examines the culture of the Native Americans who first inhabited the region and how they interacted with the landscape.
  • Where the Air is So Pure explores the history of settlers in the Flint Hills area.
  • Voices of Flint Hills allows visitors to share their stories and listen to the stories others have told about the region.
  • Stepping Into the Prairie is an area for families and younger visitors to explore, learn, and play.

Aside from this array of exhibits, the Flint Hills Discovery Center hosts numerous programs, including preschool, K-7, and adult education programs; youth camps; programs for homeschoolers; and workshops for Girl Scouts.

To learn more about the Flint Hills Discovery Center, visit