Chert Glades Chapter

         ......providing education, outreach & service dedicated to management of natural  resources in southwest Missouri.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a Chert Glade?
A: Glades are a natural habitat that has become so endangered that there are only 60 acres of them remaining in the world. Twenty-seven of those acres are in Wildcat Park, south of Joplin. While glades throughout the world are formed by various types of bedrock, it is only in the Joplin area that they are formed by chert, making Wildcat Park and its surrounding area a globally unique habitat.

Glades are open, rocky barren areas that usually appear as treeless openings in woodlands. They are very dry places with thin soils, dominated by plants and animals characteristic of deserts– snakes, lizards, cacti and scrubby trees. In this way, glades are Missouri’s form of desert. Some of the plants found in this harsh environment are so specialized that they live nowhere else but in glades.

The types of glades are defined by their underlying rock. In Missouri, there are granite, limestone, dolomite and sandstone glades, plus the chert glades of Southwest Missouri. In some areas of the chert glades, the soil is so bare that the bedrock is exposed, creating some of the most scenic features of the Joplin area—Grand Falls on Shoal Creek and the bluffs that line the river, south of Joplin.

Some people know chert by another name: flint, the rock that Native Americans used for arrow heads and tools.

Q: Where can I find out more about the Walter Woods Conservation Area?
A: Walter Woods Online Info