Please help protect our Fort Worth Prairie Park. The Texas General Land Office wants to bulldoze it to make a housing development. This 1,983 acre virgin prairie is some of the last remaining original Fort Worth Prairie. We must protect what little we have left of our living, breathing green Earth. By acting now, you can help make a difference for the next 1,000 years -- for native wildlife, for watersheds, for clean air, for a healthy society, and for generations of children and their grandchildren. Thank you.
For more information visit: http://www.fortworthprairiepark.org/
Proposal to sell off pristine State of Texas public prairie land raises alarm
Fort Worth, TX -- May 9, 2006 – The State of Texas’ Permanent School Fund is trying to quietly sell off development rights to nearly 2,000 acres of Texas public land in southwest Fort Worth that has enormous ecological, multicultural, educational, and historical values, including for Native Americans and African-Americans, as well as being one of the best remaining examples of virgin Fort Worth Prairie. Citizen and advocacy groups are clamoring to protect this 1,983 acre jewel as the cornerstone of the new Fort Worth Prairie Park Initiative, which is being spear-headed by the Great Plains Restoration Council on behalf of protecting the endangered tallgrass/mixed grass Fort Worth Prairie for future generations and struggling native wildlife.
On the property, historical significance remains intact from 150 years ago. Still standing are nearly 3 daunting miles of rock wall that may or may not have been built by black slaves. Records were lost, due to the county courthouse burning in 1876, so research is continuing. A scattering of Indian artifacts and sites remain on the landscape. A small family cemetery and ruins of the old stone homestead, created by the Muhlinghaus family during the early 1850s, lie in shaded groves, The property was originally a land grant from the Republic of Texas to John H. Bostick, who served under the command of Juan Seguin, for his service during the Texas Revolution.
Also, North Texas’ original wild prairie country was traversed by runaway slaves escaping to Mexico. Clearly, protecting what’s left creates a living link between history and the future.
Most of the original 1.3 million acre Fort Worth Prairie ecosystem has been lost to development or severely degraded. South Tarrant County in south Fort Worth and Crowley are some of the worst examples of the urban sprawl which has eaten up the Fort Worth Prairie like a cancer. Only 60,000 acres remain, and half of that is currently slated for development. This public prairie holds an intact community of native grasses and wildflowers. Wildlife abounds, including deer, wild turkeys, a bald eagle, herons, coyotes, owls, hawks, songbirds and more, Ancient habitat for buffalo and prairie dogs still exists, and three wild buffalo live there. It is also a major stopover for migrating monarch butterflies in the Spring and Fall who rest in the tall grasses and trees during their long arduous flight to and from Mexico. In addition, a 300 year old native Texas Cedar Elm Tree grows next to an old wagon lane road that used to lead to Johnson County.
The State of Texas, working with a private developer, wants to bulldoze the prairie at 10700 Old Granbury Rd to “maximize income.” Due to the topography, and the huge cost of bringing a sewer to the property, they’d have to cut it into thousands of 50 foot lots to make a profit. This pristine prairie is also the last unspoiled land before the watershed empties into Benbrook Lake, a major source of Fort Worth drinking water. Furthermore, the Crowley Independent School District is already overburdened, and Tarrant County ranks 11th in the nation for ozone pollution. Additional development will only make this problem worse. Conversely, if we protect it now, this could be the cornerstone for a much larger prairie wilderness, complete with a buffalo trail leading into the West.
Jarid Manos, executive director of the Great Plains Restoration Council, said, “It’s practically a holy experience being out on this endangered prairie. We have so little public land in Texas, and almost no wild prairies. This belongs to every person in Texas, and we belong to it. Rather than a sea of concrete and houses, a Fort Worth Prairie Park would be something for our children, their children, and the whole world to marvel at.”
Great Plains Restoration Council is a GuideStar listed 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.
For information: www.fortworthprairiepark.org or www.gprc.org Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 817-838-9022