Project Playback: Prairie Restoration at Commons Ford Ranch Metro Park

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Commons Ford Metro Ranch Park has been restored to a beautiful prairie, with native grasses and wildflowers

After receiving a $17,000 grant from Austin Parks Foundation, the Commons Ford Prairie Restoration Organization, now a part of Travis Audubon, has completed the final stages of the native prairie restoration.

The final stages of the prairie restoration began with a prescribed burn, conducted by the Austin Fire Department. This step is necessary in order to clear the land for the new, native plants. Next came the removal of remaining mesquite trees and invasive plants. Finally, a seed mix of over 70 different types of native grasses and wildflowers was used on the land. This wide range of seeds ensures that the prairie will thrive throughout every season. The seed mix includes little bluestem, mealy blue sage, and standing cypress, among many others.

About Prairie Restoration

Restoring and protecting prairie lands is important for many reasons. Less than 1% of prairies remain in the United States, causing problems for animals that need prairies to survive. Native grasslands are also important because they are a natural form of erosion control, and require very little maintenance. As a result of combined efforts and hard work, the restored prairie is now a great spot to go bird watching or see pollinators in action.

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