There are some exciting things going on with the assorted prairie restoration projects around Dallas Park and Recreation Department properties. The most noticeable of these efforts is some recent brush removal at Harry S. Moss Park in northeast Dallas.
S. Moss Park has approximately 23 acres of prairie remnant. Through the years of various land-use
practices, and with some help along the way years ago, the species typically
found in a prairie area have persisted on the site. In being good stewards to the land and in
keeping with the spirit of the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge, the Dallas Park and
Recreation Department has taken steps to more actively manage this area as a
those steps was allowing volunteer Mark Bulloch to enter into a Beautification
Agreement with the department to assist with the vegetation management within the
prairie area. Mr. Bulloch has the
experience and equipment to help facilitate this restoration project.
the biggest challenges and threats to prairies is the encroachment of woody
species. Over the years, the prairie
area at Harry S. Moss Park has experienced heavy woody encroachment in the
absence of a disturbance like mowing or fire.
Starting several months ago, Mr. Bulloch started mowing the area to
knock back smaller woody species, to start getting a handle on other invasive
species. Starting last Tuesday, through
a partnership with Texas Discovery Gardens as part of a National Fish and Wildlife
Federation grant, Mr. Bulloch was able to utilize a skid steer forestry mulcher
for a week. This greatly increased his
efficiency at removing the smaller woody brush species, while avoiding the
bigger trees. Mr. Bulloch was able to
avoid and maintain pockets of really nice prairie species. This will open up the area for better grass
and wildflower growth and allow for easier maintenance with a standard tractor.
This has been an awesome year for
plant growth, both good and bad. Harry
S. Moss Park has nice stands of Eastern Gamagrass, Yellow Indiangrass and
assorted native wildflowers. There is
also a lot of Johnsongrass, a non-native invasive exotic species that is widely
spread throughout the Dallas area.
Prairie restoration is not a fast process, it is usually a 3-5 year
process. Starting this fall, volunteers
with Texas Discovery Gardens will start reseeding and planting native species
on the site to bolster what is already there.
Once the woody species are under control, Mr. Bulloch will start working
on getting control of the Johnsongrass and other invasive species.