BNPAT’s Mathews Prairie and Clymer Meadow Field Trip

Saturday, October 14, 8:30 am

We’ll spend the morning at Mathews Prairie, a 100-acre pristine Blackland Prairie preserve. It is densely grassed, heavily forbed, and riddled with deep gilgai impressions. Currently under a conservation easement with The Nature Conservancy, NPAT seeks to additionally protect the property from rapid encroachment by purchasing it and co-managing with TNC. Our host will be Brandon Belcher, North Texas Preserves Manager for TNC, who will grace us with his deep prairie knowledge.

Learn more about Mathews Prairie and the importance of preserving it in this GreenSourceDFW article. Enjoy these photos from the Fort Worth NPAT chapter’s recent field trip.

We’ll lunch at Just Pie, 2205 Lee St. in Greenville. Sandwiches, salads, soups, and pies.

The afternoon starts with a visit to a NPAT conservation easement adjacent to Clymer Meadow, 1400 acres of Blackland Prairie owned by TNC. We will collect native prairie seeds from the easement for Texas Native Seed Project, part of the Caesar Kleburg Wildlife Research Initiative.

Also led by Brandon Belcher, we conclude with a short amble around Clymer, big enough to get a sense of the pre-pioneer prairie. With its broad plateaus and significant slopes leading to wet-weather creek and ponds, the variety of terrain fosters an astounding plant variety.


  • The field trip is free.
  • Meet 8:30 am at Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Dr. (off Buckner & Northcliff), Dallas. Park in rows furthest from White Rock Lake.
  • We will gather to carpool as parking is very limited at both prairies. Please let us know if you can help as a designated driver.
  • We leave at 8:45 am for our first destination, Mathews Prairie, and arrive by 9:45 am.
  • At noon, we travel to Greenville and enjoy lunch.
  • Arrive 1:30 pm at our last destination, Clymer Meadow, and depart by 4:00 pm.
  • Return to the Bath House Cultural Center by 5:00 pm.
  • Wear long pants and hiking boots. Hats and sunglasses recommended. Bring a water bottle and insect repellent.

Please RSVP to or text 214-395-1902. In case of bad weather, the field trip will be canceled and rescheduled at a later date.


Cedar Ridge Preserve Field Trip

Saturday, November 11, 9 am

Meet 9 am at CRP
Carpooling recommended; parking very limited on weekends.

Tom Willard introduces the Blackland Chapter to the prairie parts of Cedar Ridge Preserve in southwest Dallas County. The county’s highest elevation at 755 feet, the 600 acres (formerly the Dallas Nature Center) offers some astounding views and a wide variety of habitats. Wear hiking boots. Hats and sunglasses recommended. Bring a water bottle and insect repellent. Trail map.

Paul Mathews Prairie Field Trip 9-12

Tuesday, September 12 at 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Get your first opportunity to visit Paul Mathews Prairie just east of Greenville thanks to the Fort Worth chapter of  Native Prairies Association of Texas. NPAT is raising $50,000 to buy it!

Brandon Belcher, North Texas Preserves Manager for TNC, says “The plant community on this particular remnant is incredibly diverse and shows many of the ‘indicator’ species known in the area thought to only grow in a true prairie are abundant on Mathews Prairie in summer.”

Everyone is invited to join the field trip. The group will meet at a location in Floyd near US 380 and carpool to the site. Please RSVP here. Attendance space is limited. Please check this page for developments. While you are there, please like the Fort Worth and Blackland chapter pages.

The Blackland chapter will visit Paul Mathews Prairie sometime in October.

Donating to NPAT’s capital campaign will mean you help save this rare prairie for future generations. Join with other naturalists around the state. Please visit our donation page.

As part of your donation, be a true prairie defender and also join NPAT. Memberships support all of the 4K acres that NPAT currently protect through ownership or easements. You can be an owner of your very own prairie! You’ll have access to great education, field days, and workdays at all of our prairies.

Hope to see you on the 12th!

Epic Bus Tour of Central Texas Prairies

BNPAT’s epic bus tour of Northeast Texas prairies was such a success we did it again, this time exploring the prairies of Central Texas. Check out our selection of videos taken on the tour posted at our Facebook page. And our photo album by Stalin SM.

A large bus full of us visited Burleson Prairie  east of Temple, a Blackland Prairie lovingly restored over decades by Mickey and her late husband, Bob Burleson. His gravestone in the midst of the beautiful prairie was deeply moving. We zoomed down to Salado where we enjoyed a private meal at Heart Filled Bakery & Deli thanks to Dolly Kunz Wilson.

The difficulty of Blackland Prairie restoration was on display at Granger Lake Park east of Georgetown. But the eastern gama was strong and other plants were also resurging after the recent drought. Riesel Prairie was small, just five acres, but in very good condition and deeply satisfying. The state equipment it housed to study rainwater catchment in Blackland Prairie native grasses was fascinating.

We ended the day at Simpson Prairie west of Waco, a loving restoration by Marliss and Mike Williams. It was a large swath of Lampasas Cut Plains on a hillside with epic views. It was a perfect conclusion to a compelling sampler of prairies, most normally not open to the public. An exceptional day. Can hardly wait for next year!

2nd Annual Texas Prairies Tour June 3

Blackland Chapter, Native Prairies Association of Texas
2nd Annual Texas Prairies Tour
Saturday, June 3, 2017

Our Northeast Texas prairies tour was so fun last year, we’re doing it again, but this time we’re heading to Central Texas.

Enjoy short excursions in beautiful grasslands, most of which are not generally open to the public. A chance to stand in awe in a native prairie as it was before westward expansion. We’ll also learn about native prairie restoration and management. Become inspired on how to keep native prairies thriving for generations to come.

We’ll zip south to near Temple, which is halfway between Waco and Austin. After lunch in Salado, we’ll drive further south to near Taylor (west of Round Rock). Heading back north, we’ll go to Marlin (SE of Waco), where we’ll visit a series of small Blackland Prairies. Then we’ll travel west of Waco to tour an example of a Grand Prairie. Heading north to home, we’ll stop in West for dinner.


7:00am — Bus leaves from parking lot at Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E Lawther Dr, Dallas, TX 75218.

Prairie #1: Burleson Prairie, Oenaville (east of Temple, Texas):

• Prairie Guide: Mickey Burleson, Owner of Burleson Prairie
Native prairie restored by Mickey and her late husband, Bob Burleson. They spent decades recording prairie data, restoring hundreds of acres of native prairie, and focusing on state wide conservation efforts.

Lunch in Salado with Dolly Kunz Wilson; included in tour fee.

Prairie #2: Granger Lake Prairie, Granger Lake Park, Taylor

• Prairie Guide: Pat Merkord, Executive Director, NPAT
Pat will explain restoration procedures taken on this native tallgrass prairie site, planted in 1994 in a cooperative effort between NPAT, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Prairie #3: Riesel Prairie and Prairie #4: Lehmann Prairie, near Marlin

• Prairie Guide: Pat Merkord, Executive Director, NPAT
These two small prairies are about 10 miles apart and are excellent examples of the native tallgrasses that were prevalent in Central Texas area prior to European settlement. The Lehmann Prairie is an 11-acre remnant prairie protected by a conservation easement. The Riesel Prairie is a 5-acre remnant prairie owned by NPAT.

Prairie #5: Simpson Prairie, near Crawford

• Prairie Guides: Marliss and Mike Williams
Remnant of the Grand Prairie (Lampasas Cut Plains of the Cross Timbers and Prairies) on a gently sloping hillside. Mike remembered seeing some native prairie before the area became overgrazed, located and identified it, and restored it with his wife Marliss. Protected by NPAT conservation easement.

Dinner in West; on your own dime

10:30pm — Bus returns parking lot at Bath House Cultural Center

In case of harsh weather for June 3, the tour will be rescheduled.

Wear loose hiking clothes and sturdy shoes for prairie walking. Bring a hat, bug repellant, and sunscreen. Road snacks/beverages and books/etc to pass the time while traveling, plus back-up power for your phone, are good ideas.

Deadline for payment is May 10:

  • Cost for NPAT Members — $75.00
  • Cost for non-NPAT Members — $85.00
  • Notes on the prairie stops and a map will be provided.

Click here to register for this event.

Contact Pat Rinn, NPAT with any questions about registration.

For Additional Information
Contact Leigh Ann Ellis, 214.321.7159

Daphne Prairie Field Trip

January 28-29

Mount Vernon, Texas

Join this NPAT field trip to visit our newest addition to our land portfolio, the beautiful 922-acre Daphne Prairie in Northeast Texas near Mount Vernon. It happens on January 28-29, 2017.

Daphne-by-StalinSMView this large and very rare tract of Alfisol Prairie with grassland sparrows and other winter birds protected on this property. You do not have to be experienced in birding or wildlife surveying and all can participate by joining the experts as we explore this property and document its species.

Please contact Pat Merkord for information and directions to the property. There will be carpools from the Dallas area and the Houston area if you would like a ride or you may come on your own. or call 936-827-7973.

Prep yourself by contacting Timothy Stephen Dalbey for a CD of his report from last year. See his contact info in Visitor Posts in the right column (on computers) on our Facebook page.

Here’s our post from last summer on the field trip. Includes a 360-degree video.

Amy Martin’s poetic report on Daphne is the last section of this article:…/north-texas-wild-columnist-…

Maddin Prairie Preserve Winter Bird Survey, Monitoring & Maintenance Field Trip

January 21 & 22, 2017

16003005_574499866092513_7794637711326160865_nIf you would like to explore our fabulous preserve of the Rolling Plains ecoregion consider joining NPAT on a field trip to Maddin Prairie Preserve near Colorado City, between Abeline and Midland. It happens on January 21 and 22.

It is possible to carpool from Houston, Fort Worth and Austin or you can come on your own.

We will be doing surveys of the property including our winter bird point count, survey of prairie dogs and a general wildlife survey. There will be other maintenance activities that will require volunteer help as well such as checking the fence line and water pipes. There are always surprises waiting for visitors such as the burrowing owls living in the prairie dog burrows last January or the porcupine in a tree by Champion Creek that flows through the property on its way to the Colorado river.

To join this field trip contact or or call Pat at 936-827-7973.