The City of Austin Bond Election Advisory Committee recently recommended $5 million in open space bond funds to protect area prairies!

Prairie is a diverse community of native plants and wildlife dominated by native grasses and flowers in successions throughout the year, with sparse to few trees. Prairie once made up over half of Travis County and most of Williamson County, but now it is almost completely gone.

The Native Prairies Association of Texas, working with local chapters of the Native Plant Society of Texas, recently organized an effort to protect the few remaining prairie remnants in the Austin area. I gave a proposal and multiple presentations to the City’s Bond Election Advisory Committee, and our members and friends gave (and sent via email) many comments supporting prairie conservation.

As a result, the Bond Election Advisory Committee recently recommended $5 million in open space bond funding to protect area prairies! That will probably be enough to only protect about 20% of what little remains in the area, but 20% is much better than 0%.

The Austin Chronicle also ran an article written by Rachel Proctor May, Dreaming of Buffalo, about Austin area prairies!

Now the recomendation goes to the City Council, and if accepted on to Austin voters for approval.

More prairie information follows after the link.

Prairie is a diverse community of native plants and wildlife dominated by native grasses and flowers in successions throughout the year, with sparse to few trees.

Prairie once made up over half of Travis County and most of Williamson County, but now it is almost completely gone due to plowing for the incredible fertile soils it created and now development. The tallgrass prairie is the most endangered large ecosystem in North America with less than 1% remaining, and even less is left of Texas’ own Blackland Prairie.

Grassland birds, whose native habitat is the prairie, have shown steeper, more consistent, and more geographically widespread declines than any other group of North American species. We need to protect what little remains of our prairies as habitat for the birds, other wildlife, and native plants that live there, and restore prairie to recreate habitat that has been lost.

Photo by Lisa Spangler (and she won’t let me forget it either!)

2 thoughts on “Texas Prairies”

  1. That’s great new about the bonds for prairie restoration.

    I just came across your blog via a “Google Alert” for NPSOT.

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