A patch of prairie Wheat Chex

Late last summer I first heard of a patch of sorta native prairie grass at my dear Oak Point Nature Preserve. The park will be the site of a live music festival called, of all things, "Suburbia Music Festival" next May. The city has given $625,000 in seed money for the event. Event promoters and prairie preservationists were suddenly going head-to-head over ten acres I could not find on a park trail map.

Now I know if I'm driving on Los Rios Boulevard and see this odd round relic, the patch of prairie is across the street. True, there's no place to park a car to gawk at the stalks of native plants. Through the cedar trees I can see the fire station across Los Rios to help me get oriented.

It's a nice patch of prairie on a hill with a long view in most directions. The city will surround most of it with a split-rail fence. I have it on good authority the city will add interpretive signage highlighting the land's history, the city's reclamation effort, and the prairie ecosystem. Recent signage additions in other parts of the preserve about Blackland prairie wildlife and the Austin Chalk formation are nicely done. Paved trail extension work was continuing when I took these photos December second just before the ice storm.

I have to hope my city that had the wisdom to create two nature preserves, one on either side of the city, will protect Oak Point through the music event. Plano has a successful annual hot air balloon festival, and should bring that expertise to managing the music festival. If the event offers a way to educate visitors about nature, terrific! My next concern is about how "green" this event can be with recycling, trash collection, and biodegradable serving containers at food vendor trucks. Can Plano apply aspects of its Learn 2 Live Green expo to the music festival?

The hawk wants to hear Robert Earl Keen, just saying.

© 2013 Nancy L. Ruder

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