Rural Missouri Magazine

Jurassic Gardens
Dinosaurs roam at Powell Gardens

by Jeff Joiner

Powell Gardens has reverted back to prehistoric times this summer. The botanical garden, 30 miles east of Kansas City near Lone Jack, is hosting creatures from the age of dinosaurs which can be found roaming the park’s forest garden.

The dinosaurs, all life-size, are the ultra-realistic creations of Guy Darrough (featured in the November 2000 Rural Missouri) of Arnold who has spent nearly his entire life studying Missouri’s prehistory.

Darrough, and his assistant Alan Smith, created a pair of 30-foot giants, a Kritosaurus (photo left) and a female Maiasaur (cover) guarding the eggs in her nest. Visitors will also find a number of diminutive dinosaurs no larger than a house pet. Darrough says many species of dinosaurs, including the Compsognathus, the smallest at 2 feet tall, were tiny compared their huge cousins.

Powell Gardens is also featuring modern age plants that are descendants of prehistoric fauna like southern magnolia and baldcypress trees. Jurassic Gardens will be on display through August.

Powell Gardens is located on Highway 50, 20 miles west of Warrensburg. The park is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information call (816) 697-2600 or visit the park online at



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