Photos of TX Prairie Winter Birds + Speaking at Yale

Fort Worth Prairie restoration in motion. Check out the difference in the trailhead! The front entrance to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Richardson Tract for the Fort Worth Prairie Park partnership had become overgrown with trees and brush, completely shading out the native prairie.

In the historic absence of bison and fire, mechanical management helps keep the grassland open and alive.

Two crews mobilized: the chainsaw crew led by Jumbo Property Management, a community-engaged Fort Worth Black-owned business, and our followup crew of 7 formerly incarcerated youth from Tarrant County Advocate Program (TCAP) who worked on the downed limbs and clearing other brush, etc. Youth ages 17 and 16 were paid $10 an hour and received introductory Ecological Health training.

The work week concluded with reseeding from carefully-sourced native Fort Worth Prairie ecosystem seed, and yoga on the prairie.

We have a lot more to work do, a couple years' worth, but America’s 10,000-year-old native Fort Worth Prairie ecosystem is now one of the rarest ecosystems in North America.

While endeavoring to protect as much vulnerable wild prairie as we can add on to the Fort Worth Prairie Park preservation complex, we concurrently work to restore to 1800s ecological conditions what is already under protection.

The work in the field helps people and wildlife, costs about $1,000 a day, and increases prairie acreage.

We thank you as always for your financial donations and community engagement support! Through preservation and restoration, together we can save as much as possible of the rare and vital Fort Worth Prairie before it is lost forever.

Check out the photo story below, and please continue to spread the word by sharing this email.

Also thank you to Congressman Marc Veasey, a thoughtful ecological leader, who came out to the Fort Worth Prairie to talk with and hike with our youth.

Jarid Manos
Great Plains Restoration Council

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(Before photo— Front entrance / Aug. 2019)

Removing overgrowth of woody increaser vegetation like cedar elms and hackberries on the prairie

Starting the brush piles

After photo: Ms. Marty Leonard, local philanthropist, business and community leader, conservationist and bird watcher, visits some of our youth and the prairie. With Nicholas, Dylan, and Carlos at the project site after brush clearing.

Youth lunch discussion with adult advocates Vincent and Jarid (not pictured—he’s taking the pic.) From left, Dylan, Vincent, Brandon, Carlos, Nicholas, and Keaundre.

U.S. Congressman Marc Veasey speaking with some of the youth on a hike at a site where swale prairie merges up onto a prairie barrens shortgrass prairie ecosystem component of the endangered Fort Worth Prairie.

Thank you Congressman Veasey for your caring about our Earth and young people’s future!

Discovery of a Texas spiny lizard with his head stuck inside a shotgun shell. On land or at sea, plastic trash is a lethal danger to native wildlife and human health.

He survived! Rescue of Texas spiny lizard from being trapped in the shotgun shell, via surgical removal with a manicure clippers that Johnny Muhammad from TCAP went and bought at Walmart.

Release of Texas spiny lizard back into the prairie.

Preparing to cut, separate and stack some more downed cedar elms and hackberries that had choked out the prairie.

Deciding on the 2nd pile location.

Youth planned the consolidation and compression of stacked tree limbs and branches, with Carlos (in photo gesturing) serving as Pile Manager to continually collapse the large volume into much less space.

Allelopathy on the prairie is where the native plant communities are killed out by tree and brush overgrowth.

Between these two piles is the main front swath that was cleared of trees, brush and plastics, and raked and prepared for seeding with custom-curated Fort Worth Prairie seed mix, courtesy of Native American Seed, Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge, and Suzanne Tuttle and Michelle Villafranca.

Pausing for a photo before seeding. A total of 7 formerly incarcerated youth, from our partner Tarrant County Advocate Program, worked on the site. They were paid $10 an hour, and taught the introductory lessons of Tier 1 of Ecological Health practices and principles, for which there is a certification.

Notice we are using non-plastic bags, even for trash cleanup near the road. If we think about it, there is always a healthier, greener option these days.

We purchased $600 worth of custom-curated, Texas-sourced native Fort Worth Prairie seed mix, plus received a donation of local collected Fort Worth Prairie seeds from the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge.

A daylighted tiny prairie creek at the front. There are also a couple pocket wetlands on this trailhead swath that we cleaned up.

Alice Barrientez (Apache/Comanche) from the American Indian Youth Council, who previously served as a "GPRC Mom" for participating youth in an earlier program years ago, came out to visit and re-engage.

Yoga & stretching on the Fort Worth Prairie: Stretching and releasing muscle tension at the end of a week of good, hard work.

Ecological Health practices and principles teach physical, mental, emotional and spiritual well-being as part of hands-on ecological restoration and preservation.

Becoming part of something bigger: Meditating on the prairie and learning tactical diaphragmatic breathing. Both meditation and diaphragmatic breathing can be used in any area of life, particularly during stress and/or consternation.

Bonus photo: East Dutch Branch Creek — Fort Worth Prairie blue sky, sun, wind, grass and clean water. (And fish who don’t yet want their pics taken. 🙂)


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