Pittsburg State University has been given two small patches of native prairie land northeast of Cherokee as a gift.
The Joplin Globe reports that the university has managed the land known as the O’Malley Prairies for several years and received it as a gift this week from the descendants of Mary O’Malley and her brother, Charles O’Malley.
A ceremony was held Thursday to mark the land’s transfer.
Pittsburg State biology students have since used the land as an outdoor research lab and will continue to do so.
The O’Malley Prairies total about 12 acres and are remnants of the vast prairie ecosystem that once covered large swaths of the Midwest.