400 acres of Blackland Prairie restored

 Bluestem Park in Alliance Town Center, Ft. Worth, Texas. Photo by John Hart Asher.

Bluestem Park in Alliance Town Center, Ft. Worth, Texas. Photo by John Hart Asher.

At the Mueller Development in Austin, blackland prairie plants grow again on land that had been airport runways for half a century. In Dallas, stretches of lawn at the George W. Bush Presidential Center feature this tall grass prairie. Down the road in Fort Worth, a meandering stream and blackland prairie plants have replaced what had served as a cattle pasture and pond for decades. And on a green rooftop in Central Texas, nearly 200 types of plants and blackland prairie grasses grow above bedrooms and kitchens, challenging our notion of where prairie restoration can occur.

All of these projects are part of the Wildflower Center's efforts to restore Blackland Prairie - one of the most endangered ecosystems in the U.S. Prairie once dominated Midwestern landscapes from Texas to Canada, but less than 1 percent remains in Texas. Lost along with it are deep-rooted grasses that create a fertile soil and a resilient ecosystem that improves the environment and provides habitat to wide-ranging wildlife.

To date, the Center has restored elements of Blackland Prairie on 400 acres in cities across Texas, providing people with a chance to deepen their connection to nature where they live, work and play.