Northeast Texas Prairies and More Tour

Blackland Chapter, Native Prairies Association of Texas presents

3rd Annual

Northeast Texas Prairies and More Tour

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Click Here to Register

SCHEDULE

7:30 am – Depart from Bath House Cultural Center, Dallas

  1. Matthews Cartwright-Roberts Prairie with Susan Roberts, near Terrell

This is 200 acres of quality prairie with stunning views. One of the owners, Susan Roberts, will guide us on the prairie’s plants and it history. In 2000, this prairie was awarded the Texas Lone Star Land Steward Award.

  1. Ebel Grassland Ranch with Kelli and Karl Ebel, Sulphur Bluff

This critically imperiled Silveus dropseed prairie has undergone an amazing restoration since 2003. The Ebels will share their knowledge on the ecology of raising cattle and goats on their 1,057-acre grassland. They were recently invited to Washington D.C. to urge members of Congress to support the American Prairie Conservation Act for nationwide “Sodsaver” protection. It is a multi-species ranch, producing cattle and goats with approximately 525 acres of restored native tall grass prairie, 282 acres of non-native permanent pastures, and 250 acres of savannah and woodland.

  1. Lunch

    Cost $10.00 per person. CASH only.
    Sandwiches, chips, and tea for lunch prepared for us by the local historical society.
    Gluten free and vegetarian lunch to be available upon request.
    Local historians will be available to share local lore.

     

  2. Lennox Woods Preserve, The Nature Conservancy, north of Clarksville

One of the most beautiful and pristine old-growth forests in the state, the 1,400-acre Lennox Woods Preserve is a vital refuge for several rare plant and animal species, all of which rely on the waters of Pecan Bayou, the largest undammed watershed in northeast Texas and what many consider the focus of the return of the black bear. The old-growth timber and cathedral-like canopy of these woods thought to be typical of the undisturbed floodplains throughout the state prior to the arrival of settlers.

Take a look at Amy Martin’s article!

  1. Daphne Prairie with B.F. Hicks, near Mt. Vernon

We return to this special site that is a favorite for prairie and bird lovers, known for its mima mounds and East Texas tall grasses prairie. Daphne is a 925-acre preserve and NPAT holds the conservation easement for supervision of management, CE was given to NPAT in 2016. We will be able to go further into the prairie this visit to view more of this historical property!

  1. Depart for Downtown Mt. Vernon to B.F. Hick’s Church Inn

Our tour will be guests of Franklin County Historical Association of the B.F. Hick’s Church Inn, 501 S. Kaufman St. Dinner will be held in the former church building and the garden will be open. The 1.5-acre grounds were planted for birds and butterflies with a variety of native plants. The gardens will be blooming for the tour!

Around 9:30pm – Return to Bath House Cultural Center, Dallas

For Additional Information

Contact Leigh Ann Ellis

214.395.1902

Price includes Bus Fare – Seating is Limited.

$80.00 for NPAT Members

$90.00 for Non-NPAT Members

Click Here to Register

Contact Pat Rinn, NPAT 

512.772.4741

Please bring a hat for protection, insect repellent, and bottled water.

For attire: long pants and long sleeves shirts are recommended with sturdy walking shoes!

Cedar Ridge Preserve Field Trip

Photo by Ben Sandifer, Trinity Trails Blog

Saturday, November 11

Meet 9:30 am at Cedar Ridge Preserve

7171 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas, TX 75249

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. This will be in lieu of the November BNPAT meeting. Trail map.

It will take 90 minutes for the complete tour. Though it will involve quite a bit of walking, we will start with the close, easy walking sites, and then progress to the more challenging. You can bow out at any time.

Discover some well-established prairies, and examine overgrown prairies and those being restored. (A BNPAT workday will be the following Saturday.) We’ll discuss the challenging aspect with prairie restoration and maintenance. 

Comfortable work shoes or boots, hat, and sunglasses recommended. Bring a water bottle and insect repellent. Questions? Email thikesto@aol.com, text or call 469-766-7572.

Details on November 18 workday.

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.

Details

  • 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 laellis55@aol.com 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

Meet 9:30 am at Cedar Ridge Preserve

7171 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas, TX 75249

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. Trail map.

It will take 90 minutes for the complete tour. Though it will involve quite a bit of walking, we will start with the close, easy walking sites, and then progress to the more challenging. You can bow out at any time.

Discover some well-established prairies, and examine overgrown prairies and those being restored. (A BNPAT workday will be the following Saturday.) We’ll discuss the challenging aspect with prairie restoration and maintenance. 

Comfortable work shoes or boots, hat, and sunglasses recommended. Bring a water bottle and insect repellent. Questions? Email thikesto@aol.com, text or call 469-766-7572.

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.

Itinerary

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