Leading our tour will be Katherine Power, President Frankford Preservation Foundation and Gary Barton, North Texas Master Naturalist. If you are planning on joining us please RSVP to Brenda Catlett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Power will discuss the successful efforts to restore the Frankford Church in far North Dallas and the subsequent discovery of a rare remnant of the Blackland Prairie. This native prairie soil thrives with wildflowers and includes what is referred to as an everlasting spring. This has led Power, who is the descendant of Collin County pioneers, to promote further efforts to find and protect other native areas of Texas.”
“Fires remove old plant material, consuming dry, dead grass and woody shrubs and trees and returning nutrients to the soil. A burn exposes soil to the sunlight, and new grasses grow quickly in the warmed soil. If fires did not occur, the trees and other woody plants would quickly infiltrate the grassland.”
The Nature Conservancy is assisting in the restoration of this remnant prairie by control of exotic species and re-introduction of fire as a management tool.
The following information was provided by The Nature Conservancy’s North Texas Preserves Manager, Brandon Belcher:
“Parkhill was burned in October. The conditions were great and the fire success was phenomenal. The spring color should be spectacular!
Below is a map of the area burned – the park is outlined in yellow, the burn unit in red. On the north end of the burn area, you can find some space that we did not burn (left for simplicity / expediency, as well as to serve as refugia). In that area (restoration actually), you will find abundant Indiangrass and a good variety of prairie species.
To reach the area most easily, take the hiking trail starting at the west/left kiosk. When you reach the overlook at the north end, walk down the hill and to your right (northeast). You will have no trouble finding and following the firebreak.”
The yellow boundary indicates Parkhill Prairie 436-acre preserve, and the red boundary indicates the 52-acre prairie area burned in October 2020.
It was a perfect day for seed collecting by the hardy NPAT volunteers that showed up near New Boston, Texas for a work day in late October. The temperature was cool and the sky was overcast. By the time we were finished, it was very humid in northeast Texas. An early start is always preferable. Such a nice time out on the prairie! Thanks, NPAT!
Thanks to Kirsti Harms, our Executive Director of NPAT, for two pics.
The Dixon Water Foundation has made this generous challenge possible so you can double the impact of your gift to fund the new North Texas Outreach & Stewardship Program! Don’t miss your opportunity to create transformational change for the Native Prairies Association of Texas in this rapidly urbanizing region.
Prairie is the natural landscape of North Texas. More than 99 percent of the prairie ecosystem experienced by early Texans has been plowed for croplands or altered through heavy grazing. An additional threat is development for cities and industry. Family lands near cities are being sold, generating an urgent need for prairie conservation and awareness in and around the Dallas-Fort Worth metro region. The tallgrass prairie is the most-endangered ecosystem in North America. It is worth saving!
During this pandemic, natural open space has become more important than ever for the well being of Texans living in urban areas. Native grasslands have proven to mitigate flooding, cool urban heat islands and improve water quality in this age of extreme weather events. Prairies are an important part of the solution for declining bird and insect populations. Saving prairies and grasslands is an investment in a more resilient climate in a time of change.
Please help us protect prairies to protect our future.
Images courtesy of Ann Sansone of a giant coneflower (Rudbekia maxima), left, and a Virginia meadow beauty (Rhexia virginica), right.
Hello Prairie People!
On Saturday, October 24, 2020, from 9 am until noon, we will be having a work day at the Talbot Brothers Prairie located in Bowie County near the town of New Boston. This northeast Texas prairie is one of NPAT’s latest acquisitions.
This special work day will involve collecting seeds from the prairie to plant in areas that were disturbed during a fence project.
The blog is the result of an around-the-table lunch conversation with Matt, his wife Kristen, attending members of our Blackland Chapter and Leigh Ann during the early June prairie conference in Houston.
It is an exciting new opportunity for Matt and his family as he shares his knowledge and love of prairies!
Our chapter is very excited on what the future holds for Matt.
Please visit and sign-up to follow his new postings.