Across the United States, less than 1% of native prairies exist. Today, the 40-acre restored native prairie at Commons Ford Metropolitan Park supports an amazing diversity of wildlife and grassland birds.
The prairie explodes in color throughout the spring and early summer and is teeming with hundreds of species of birds, butterflies, insects, and other wildlife throughout the year.
Travis Audubon has taken a leadership role in the long-term care and restoration of this incredible site. The prairie is model for habitat restoration and is bordered by woodlands and the Colorado River. Click here to visit our calendar and learn more about guided bird walks at Commons Ford.
Visit the Prairie
The park is open every day of the week from 5AM-10PM and is located at 614 North Commons Ford Road. Dogs must be kept on leash. Click here to learn more about birding Commons Ford.
In 2010, a group of concerned citizens formed Commons Ford Prairie Restoration Organization. Led by Ed Fair, the group built a broad coalition of partners, created a restoration plan, conducted surveys, submitted grants and solicited private donations. In 2016, this organization became a part of Travis Audubon to ensure the prairie’s long-term sustainability.
The initial goal of the restoration effort was to increase native grasses and wildflowers while removing invasive plant species. The result has been amazing. Invasive plant species have decreased from 99% to 15% and native species, which provide food and shelter to attract prairie birds and other wildlife, have increased to 85%. The percentage of prairie birds has increased exponentially. The first pre-restoration survey identified a single bird while the first post-restoration survey indicated in excess of 90 individuals.
Travis Audubon is working with the City of Austin to manage the prairie and expand public programming to include field trips, bird and vegetation surveys, and new offerings for children and families.
How You Can Help
You can support this very important project in your community by becoming a sponsor or donor. If you cannot visit the park, but want to view a pictorial history of the project, visit our Flickr page.
Austin Parks and Recreation Department
Austin Parks Foundation
Balcones Canyonlands Preserve
Native American Seed Company
Native Prairies Association of Texas
TogetherGreen (a Toyota/National Audubon Joint Venture)