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Houston Regional Group - News
Bayou Banner Article, June/July 2012 -
College Park Prairie Needs Saving

- May 25 - College Park Prairie Needs Saving

Recently in Deer Park, a small group of prairie hunters, members of the Native Plant Society and Native Prairie Association of Texas, have found and surveyed a 52 acre gem of a remnant prairie. The owner of the prairie, who is preparing to sell and or develop the property, has given the Houston Audubon Society until November 1, 2012 to raise $4 million to buy the property. Houston Wilderness and the Coastal Prairie Partnership are providing assistance in the campaign to save College Park Prairie.

College Park Prairie is important for several reasons. First, via its soils, geology, and hydrology this prairie contains important prairie and wetland features like pimple mounds, prairie pothole wetlands, and interconnecting drainage ways that link wetlands throughout the site.

Pimple mounds are about 6 inches to two feet in height and 10-30 feet in diameter. Because of their sandy, looser soil, pimple mounds contain habitat for different types of plants than the heavy clay containing prairie pothole wetlands and interconnecting drainage ways.

Pimple mounds, prairie pothole wetlands, and interconnecting drainage ways are micro-topographical features that have been destroyed on most lands that once were prairies via development and agricultural land leveling. Only a few 1,000 acres of remnant prairies in good condition still exist in Harris and adjacent counties.

After College Park Prairie was discovered prairie enthusiasts contacted Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and asked for help in assessing its biological importance. Jason Singhurst, a botanist and plant ecologist with TPWD visited College Park Prairie on several occasions and has found more than 240 species of native plants. This means that College Park Prairie has a very high level of plant species diversity. Jason says that College Park Prairie is a rare plant community called the "Cajun Prairie" which has been documented in Texas at only two other locations. College Park Prairie has been designated Globally (G1) and state-wide (S1) as a very rare plant community.

What we need right now is for all of us to rally and save College Park Prairie. To make a donation or find out how you can protect College Park Prairie contact Flo Hannah of the Houston Audubon Society.

Brandt Mannchen May 25, 2012


Last updated:  11/20/2011.   Content 1999-2011 by the Sierra Club.