Commons Ford Update: January, 2012

Hello all,

Just a quick update on the Commons Ford Prairie Restoration Project:

1. Site Preparation. We have completed treatment of the invasives and PARD crew is now busy tilling and disking the tract in preparation for spring planting. The crew has completed roughly 50% of this aspect of the project and are projected to finish in early-February. We should have current pictures of the tract up very soon on the Commons Ford Facebook page, so please visit our page when you have the opportunity and spread the word so others will sign up for it (or send us a note and we will forward the photos directly to you).  [EDITOR’S NOTE: Also, see some tilling photos above.  Click any thumbnail to view the full photo.]

We would also like to thank Eric Wallgren and the Plateau Land Management staff for their assistance with the treatment of invasives and continuing consultation. Also, thanks to Andrea Julian and Aaron Brewer for their efforts in compiling the vegetation survey data, and Andrea for her all-encompassing and perhaps never- ending “intern” services.

2. Seed Mix. We are in the process of finalizing the seed mix and hope to do so by the end of January. The key focus of the mix is to provide for grasses and forbs which are most appropriate for the soil type (primarily Hardeman sandy loam) with a special emphasize on those plants which would be most supportive of, and associated with, upland bird species. Upon finalization of the mix, we will begin seed purchases and prepare for March planting.

3. Volunteers. We will very likely need volunteers to assist with the planting in March as well as plant surveys in the spring. Please let us know if you are interested of if you are associated with a group or organization which might be interested.

If you visit the park, you can now really begin to see how the prairie will take shape. Thanks to all of you, particularly Joan Singh (PARD) and John Chenoweth (Balcones Canyonlands Preserve), as well as Byron Stone and Valarie Bristol (Travis Audubon Society) for having the vision and tenacity to give this project a fighting chance of success.

– Ed Fair

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