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REGISTRATION OPENS August 20, 2018! “2019 TLC CONFERENCE”  is scheduled for FEB. 27 thru MAR.1, 2019, in Austin.Call TLC @ 512.994.8582 for Sponsorship & Exhibitor…

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Fort Worth NPAT Chapter MeetupNEW LOCATION: SSCI Lecture Hall 1106, Fort Worth. Monday, 6:30pm – 8:00pm“NPAT Prairies & Conservation Easement Properties”, by Pat Merkord. Welcome…

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Cosponsored by NPAT: NATURE WALK AND WORK DAY at Indiangrass Prairie Preserve Saturday 7:30am -12 Noon (*) Our monthly access days offer a chance to…

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Prairie Facts

Our Blog

Commons Ford Prairie Restoration Update

Tuesday, Jul 10, 2012

    Check out this update from Ed Fair of the Commons Ford Prairie Restoration Organization about the prairie restoration project underway at Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park in Austin, TX:


    “A prairie of approximately 40 acres encompasses the central portion (the area surrounded by the main trail) of Commons Ford Park. At present, the prairie is comprised primarily of King Ranch Bluestem, Bermuda Grass and Johnson Grass (all invasive species) with scattered, small mesquite trees. The prairie also has two very small oak groves of 2-4 trees each.”

    “Commons Ford PRO and the Austin Parks and Recreations Department are developing a native prairie restoration plan which will remove all of the invasives and convert the land into a prairie comprised of native grasses and wildflowers. Travis Audubon Society, along with Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, Native Prairies Association of Texas, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Natural Resources Conservation Service/USDA and Austin Parks Foundation have all committed to collaborate in various aspects of the preparation and implementation of the restoration plan.”

The Last Stand - Saving the Coastal Prairie

Friday, Jun 08, 2012

In case you missed this informative video before, check it out now!

video courtesy of TPWD

Prairie Chapel Ranch and Simpson Prairie Field Trip - 5/26/12

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Here are a few photos from our field trip to Prairie Chapel Ranch and Simpson Prairie near Crawford, TX:

Arrival to Prairie Chapel Ranch

Mike Williams describing the process he used to restore a 40 acre tract from a johnsongrass monoculture to a ecologically-diverse prairie.  This process included physically removing the johnsongrass by hand and heavy equipment and using hay harvested from the nearby Simpson Prairie as his seed source to replant the native grasses and forbs.

Those on the tour were treated to a lush walk through the prairie thanks to a path cut by Mr. Williams.

Firewheel, Standing Cypress, American Basketflower, and Lemon Beebalm were all in great abundance at the Prairie Chapel Ranch.

The sign at the entrance to the Simpson Prairie, a remnant prairie owned by Mike Williams with a conservation easement held by NPAT.

Lemon Beebalm

American Basketflower

A field of American Basketflowers

Butterflies in Bloom

Wednesday, Apr 18, 2012

    We were going through some old email messages and found this gem of a link and thought it was appropriate for this time of year.  This great site has a gallery of photographs to help with butterfly identification as well as list of butterflies by butterfly type and preferred flower.  Check out the site then go outside and see how many you can spot today!

Building a fence to protect our prairie dog colony!

Wednesday, Feb 01, 2012

    Over the past weekend several board members, staff, and friends of NPAT made the long drive from the Houston area and Central Texas to Mitchell County to finish an electric fence protecting a rescued prairie dog colony that was established on the Maddin Prairie Preserve in 2006.  Initially, the colony was relocated from Abilene and was situated within a 4 acre fenced area.  An electric fence is used to keep out predators such as coyotes and badgers which helps promote the growth of the colony.  The old fence was struck by lightening sometime in 2010 disabling the fence’s electrical box and leaving the colony vulnerable to predatory activity.  The construction of the new fence enclosing 8 acres began on a preserve work day in the summer of 2011 and was wrapped up last weekend.  Check out a few photos from the weekend below!

The beginning stages of the electric fence

Volunteer Lenn Archer wrapping up wire from the old fence.

Volunteer Glen Merkord collecting old fencing material left behind from the old electric fence.

NPAT Outreach Coordinator Phillip Quast and Vice President Kirsti Harms walking across the prairie dog town after putting the final touches on the eastern edge of the new fence line.

An unprotected entrance to the maze of tunnels the prairie dogs call home.  Note the recent tracks on the right edge of the hole indicating recent use of the entrance.

A protected prairie dog entrance. The fencing keeps large predators out but allows the prairie dogs to enter and exit freely.

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