Archive for August 13th, 2008

Lone Star Land Stewards: Burleson’s Prairie, 1

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife

The Blackland Prairie, a tall grass prairie, once dominated a large area of the Texas landscape.

There were believed to be 20-million acres of tall grass prairie in Texas. Of that 20-million acres, it is believed that less than one percent of the tall grass prairie is left.

Jason Spangler is a member of Native Prairies Association of Texas. Bob and Mickey Burleson are founding members of that Association, and have spent four decades restoring 500 acres of former cropland and overgrazed pasture in Bell County back to tall grass prairie.

We bought the property in 1969, and started immediately to convert part of the cropland into original Blackland Prairie. At the time we bought this property, there was virtually no Blackland Prairie left around here.

By collecting and planting local ecotype native seed from area hay meadow prairie remnants, removal of invasive plants and use of various management tools, the Burlesons successfully restored the prairie.

We went out and spent every weekend for a year collecting seed from every tiny remnant in Bell, McLennan, Williamson and Falls Counties. And then, come fall in 1969, we planted it all at one time. That was our start. Then we’ve added to it every year since then.

It’s that kind of dedication that won the Burlesons the Lone Star Land Steward Award for the Blackland Prairie eco-region. We’ll learn more about Burleson’s Prairie tomorrow.

That’s our show… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.