Clymer Meadow Preserve is a collection of properties owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy of Texas and with the partnership of surrounding private land owners. Its value is rooted in its ties to the Blackland Prairie, a prairie of dark, rich soil that runs 300 miles from south to north Texas, roughly following the Interstate 35 corridor. This temperate grassland is home to many flora and fauna that is critical to the adequate operation of this valued ecosystem. Only 1% of this prairie still exists in its original form, and great efforts are being made to preserve what is remaining.
The Nature Conservancy actively tries to recreate the processes that once helped to maintain this ecosystem. Where there were once wildfires causes by lightning, there are now controlled burns every 2-3 years to remove dead plant litter and regenerate the growing processes. Where there were once bison herds whose members numbered the tens of thousands, there is now periodic grazing by cattle, rotated frequently on small parcels to help best mimic the stomping and tearing of the landscape.
On this particular Saturday, the conservancy opened one of the tracts to the public to observe the endangered prairie first hand. We spent about 4 hours wading through the tall grasses and late summer blooms, all while being led by a conservancy employee pointing out their projects to help restore the prairie, and discussing the importance of the projects.
Below are photos from the field trip.