Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tandy Hills Natural Area Picked Best Place To Stand In North Texas

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, some time back, solicited for entries in a contest to pick the "Best Places to Stand in North Texas."

I've stood on all the Top 10 places to stand. I have stood at or by the Japanese Garden at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, the steps of the Amon Carter Museum, the Rusty sculpture at the Modern Museum, Cowboys Stadium, the Fort Worth Zoo, the Trinity Bridge on North Main, the Stockyards and the local lakes.

I've been to the Runner-up Editor's pick, that being Randol Mill Park. And I've stood on, looked at, hiked on and marveled at the Grand-prize winner, Tandy Hills Natural Area, submitted by Don Young.

The Star-Telegram heavily edited Don Young's essay, making the case why the Tandy Hills were the best place to stand in North Texas. I'll copy the entire essay below...

Tandy Hills Natural Area is a special place simply because it is still here.

Over 99.5% of all native prairie, in the USA, is gone - even more in the Metroplex. The parkland is adjacent to I-30 and surrounded by a neighborhood in the heart of Fort Worth, a place crawling with developers and gas drillers. For this oasis to have survived is more than remarkable, it’s a precious gift.

The 160-acre natural area is a living, postage stamp sized snapshot of what the entire region once looked like before settlers arrived. The number of wildflower and grass species that cover the hilly terrain at THNA is wildly more than anyplace else in north Texas, except maybe another prairie remnant.

In 1880 when the population was less than 1% of the current 700,000, people still remembered the natural beauty of the land they settled and nicknamed Fort Worth, "Queen City of the Prairie." Those days would soon end, taking with them the very thing that drew settlers here, namely, the blackland prairie and its rich cornucopia of life.

The good news is, we still have Tandy Hills. The Spring wildflowers are more breathtaking here than anyplace else in the Metroplex, attracting lovers, families and butterflies. In the Fall, tall native grasses sway mysteriously in the wind, inspiring poets, painters and philosophers. The sunsets and moonrises seen from the tops of the many hills are often jaw dropping. The sky above THNA is filled with birds and swarms of migrating, Monarch butterflies. If you're lucky, you can even catch a glimpse of a rabbit, fox, lizard, wild turkey, roadrunner or bobcat scampering across the landscape.

All this and its only 5 minutes from downtown Cowtown.
The price? Free.

Tandy Hills Natural Area was donated to the people of Fort Worth in 1960. 2010 is the 50th anniversary of this public parkland.

Keep it like it was.

Don Young
July 1, 2009

1 comment:

Cheap Tricks and Costly Truths said...

Outstanding! I've encountered your many postings and viewed the lovely pictures from Tandy Hills which left me awe inspired and grateful that a place like this has been preserved and hope with all my well spring of hope...that it will always remain.

I own an empty lot that I've planted fruit trees on and one Burr oak. Today as I was about to mow all the grasses down, I took a second look...the tall willowing feathered grasses swaying in the breeze that stood as a backdrop to orange and purple wild flowers created a symphony of rustles that I decided to leave natural.