Sunday, January 1, 2012

Friends Of The Tandy Hills Natural Area's Prairie Notes #61

That colorful sky in the picture is hovering above the Tandy Hills. This is one of the pretty pictures you can see via viewing the full version of Don Young's Prairie Notes #61.

I mentioned earlier today that in his latest Prairie Notes Don Young ponders why so few locals visit what may be the only thing in Fort Worth that no city of a similar size, in America, has.

I might even say it is the only thing in Fort Worth that could make any one in any other city in America even remotely Green with Envy.

Below is an excerpt from Prairie Notes #61......

"If Tandy Hills were in Austin it would be overrun with people hiking the hills seven days a week." 

I have often uttered that phrase with an edge of frustration when telling people about the wonders of Tandy Hills. When I reveal that I often have the place all to myself, I get a retort something like this: 

"Are you kidding me? A centrally located, 160-acre publicly-owned nature preserve with jaw-dropping plant diversity, gorgeous hilly terrain, open prairie and deep woods all in one place, in a city of nearly 800,000 people and nobody goes there???"

"No, not that many," I reply. The two cities are of similar size. But this is Fort Worth and for some reason people here are different, and not always for their own good. My pet theory is that, Fort Worthians have lost touch with the natural world because nearly all of it is gone. Very little of the beautiful landscape that inspired our ancestors to call Fort Worth, "Queen City of the Prairie" was protected. Tandy Hills survived only because of sheer luck.

By contrast, the Austin greenbelt is, indeed, overrun with people of all ages, blissfully celebrating their connection to the natural world seven days a week. There is a palpable sense of appreciation for nature and an urgency to protect it, expand it and preserve it. 

Fort Worthians can and must do better. I have devoted much of my time and energy in the past few years encouraging you to "Get out" to "Come on in" to "See deeper" at Tandy Hills for your own mental, physical and spiritual health and that of the City, itself. More people do so than ever before but the numbers are still pitifully low for a treasure like Tandy Hills.

Looking back over the past years' Prairie Notes, my overriding theme has been urging you to stay "tuned in." Tuned in to the subtle and not so subtle messages of nature and, especially our place in it. This has been the core message of these Notes from the first one in 2004 and it's even more important in 2012.

So what can be done? 

Staying connected to the natural world is essential to our well-being. The open prairie, deep woods, hilly terrain and spectacular diversity of Tandy Hills is a kind of microcosm of Spaceship Earth. It's an excellent place to find the solitude necessary to pick up the larger frequency to which we are all connected.

Stay tuned.



MLK said...

1. People don't know about it
2. People don't know how to get there
3. People think there is no parking
4. People feel it might be unsafe

As someone who lived in Fort Worth for years, I always thought it was private property and I still have NO CLUE how to get there to hike.

Durango said...

MLK, I lived for 5 years 4 miles from the Tandy Hills, knowing of its existence, but not knowing it had trails and actual hills. I stayed away also because I was sure it'd be infested with rattlesnakes. The lack of directional signage is definitely a bad oversight. Parking, other than on the street, would be a good thing. That restaurant on a bluff overlooking the freeway, on Ben Street, on the west side of the Natural Area, was not able to make it, or so I've been told, because people could not figure out how to get to it.