The Race to Preserve Mathews Prairie

Native Prairies Association of Texas is raising $50,000 to buy Mathews Prairie, a rare 100-acre Blackland Prairie west of Greenville. Located in Hunt County, right in the middle of the BNPAT region, it presents a superb opportunity for the chapter to make a big impact in prairie preservation. There is a limited-time offer of matching grants for all donations.

Donate Here

Mathews Prairie is under a conservation easement with The Nature Conservancy, but intense encroachment pressures have led to NPAT to purchase the prairie and co-manage with TNC as it does with Mary Talbot Prairie. With the 1400-acre Clymer Meadow, Mathews, and other prairie remnants, Hunt County has the greatest concentration of Blackland projects in North Texas.

“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,” says Brandon Belcher, North Texas Preserves Manager for TNC. “These prairies all work together as islands to support one another through genetic exchange.”

Read more about the prairie and the importance of preserving it in this GreenSourceDFW article.

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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.

America’s Grasslands Conference

NPAT will be a part of the next America’s Grasslands Conference takes place November 14-16, 2017 in Fort Worth, Texas. It brings together researchers, natural resource professionals, farmers and ranchers, policy experts, and conservationists to discuss relevant issues related to the conservation of North America’s grasslands. More information here.

Photo by Chris Emory

Texas Society for Ecological Restoration: Resilience & Connectivity at Our Roots

November 10 – 12

Texas Society for Ecological Restoration connects researchers, practitioners, growers, land managers and teachers engaged in ecologically sensitive repair and management of ecosystems. Their annual TSER conference provides a great opportunity to learn what Texas restoration and conservation practitioners are doing in the field.

This year’s conference on Nov. 10 to 12 in Denton showcases the momentous work of Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area and the keynote speaker will be Dr. Ken Steigman of LLELA. The event includes in-depth guided explorations of LLELA, including kayaking on the Trinity River. In addition, there is a full array of talks, workshops, and a ranch grazing field trip.

Social opportunities abound at the TSER, including a BBQ at the LLELA prairie, nighttime starlight Student & Young Professional Roundtable, and an awards dinner.

Register here.

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!

September Meeting with Brett Johnson

Tuesday, Sept. 12, 6:30 pm

The Point and Pavilion at C.C. Young Senior Living
Flag Pole Classroom

4847 W Lawther Dr. between Mockingbird and E. Northwest Hwy.
Drive to the top of the hill and park. The Point is on the west side of the quadrant
(closest to Lawther – see map below).
 

Brett Johnson, Urban Biologist for Dallas Parks & Recreation, will be our guest speaker. He will speak about the progress and setbacks about the Blackland Prairie parcels at White Rock Lake, including Johnson grass and Queen Anne’s lace control, privet clearing, mowing practices, Flag Pole Hill plans, and more.

For Additional Information, contact Leigh Ann Ellis, 214.321.7159

Pocket Prairies with Pat Merkord

Discover the beauty and diversity of the native prairies across Texas and learn tips on how to create your own miniature wildscape at home.

Sat, July 22, 2017
10 – 11:30 AM
North Haven Gardens

free, please register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/pocket-prairies-tickets-35573353859

Since 2006, Pat Merkord has been with the Native Prairies Association of Texas, a non-profit land trust that conserves, restores and educates about Texas prairies. She has served as Secretary and President of the Board and is now Executive Director.

Find out what constitutes a “true prairie remnant” and gain insight into the sustainable habitat that was here in the Dallas Ft.Worth area before it was settled.

NPAT was founded in 1986 by a group of Texans concerned greatly about our disappearing prairie heritage, especially Texas’ endangered tallgrass prairies, and is a non-profit membership organization and land trust dedicated to the conservation, restoration, and appreciation of native prairies, savannas, and other grasslands in Texas. NPAT protects over 3,925 acres of native Texas prairie, including over 1340 acres of endangered/threatened tallgrass prairie.

To make a donation: Native Prairies Association Online Donation

For more on the association: Texasprairie.org

An Austin native, Pat currently lives in Conroe, Texas with her husband, Glenn. Her Bachelor of Science degree is from Texas A&M Kingsville and her Master’s degree in biology is from Texas State University. Formerly a biology and chemistry teacher, she retired from teaching and started a biological consulting business, Bluestem Environmental Consultants, which has been operating since 2004. She enjoys birding, gardening with natives, and traveling around the state visiting with landowners, working to restore prairie habitats, and educating about Texas native prairies.