About the Blackland Prairie
The original prairie is a diverse unplowed ecosystem of mainly native grasses and flowering plants (forbs). The type of prairie called Blackland once stretched from the Red River to the Gulf Coast. The bands of dark alkaline clays grow especially robust stands of tallgrass prairie grasses such as big and little bluestem, Indiangrass, switchgrass, and sideoats grama. These prairies, once home to herds of buffalo, provide habitat for a rich diversity of birds and animals.
According to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, less than 1% of the original blackland prairie remains, lost forever due to development, row-crop agriculture, and overgrazing. It is one of the most endangered ecosystems in the U.S. The vestiges are in public and private hands, with some of the acreage in need of being rehabilitated.
The blackland prairie is a part of our history and the landscape of our pioneer heritage. It is the original unchanged land that the ancestors of our community walked upon. We must cherish and preserve our living history for generations to come.
About the Blackland Chapter
This chapter of the Native Prairies Association of Texas represents 13 North Central Texas counties: Dallas, Collin, Ellis, Fannin, Grayson, Henderson, Hunt, Kaufman, Lamar, Navarro, Rains, Rockwall, and Van Zandt. (see map below)
The Blackland chapter formed in July 2014. Many of its members were galvanized by the discovery of original blackland prairie parcels at White Rock Lake in Dallas. The chapter has since been a leading voice to identify, preserve, and promote prairies in Dallas County and beyond.
About the Native Prairies Association of Texas
The Native Prairies Association of Texas (NPAT) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership and land trust organization dedicated to the conservation, restoration, and appreciation of native prairies, savannas, and other grasslands in Texas.NPAT conserves and protects 2,780.87 acres of native Texas prairie.
Pat Merkord, Executive Director of NPAT, was instrumental in forming the Blackland chapter. She hopes to draw a variety of folks with their Texas prairie mission, including nature lovers, xeriscapers, ranchers, wildflower fans, bird watchers, and history buffs.
“We have a pretty broad appeal,” said Merkord, likening it to saving historical buildings. “You’re saving historical landscapes.” Fpr more on NPAT, please visit their website.
Become a NPAT Blackland Chapter member
Support us by becoming a member of NPAT, a non-profit land trust for the conservation, restoration, and appreciation of native prairies, savannas, and other grasslands. JOIN HERE.