Conservation & Animal Welfare

Major land acquisition boosts local conservation efforts

Written by Mindia Whittier

Property purchased for $3.1 million protects wild acreage from future development.

Funds from the City of Fort Worth Open Space Conservation Program, which helps identify and protect important natural areas, have been approved to acquire 29.511 acres of undeveloped land for conservation.

Fort Worth City Council authorized the purchase at 8900 Jacksboro Highway to provide additional natural prairie parkland at the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge. The Refuge is operated by the Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge.

“The Fort Worth Nature Center is one of the largest urban nature parks in the country at more than 3,600 acres and 21 miles of hiking trails,” said Haily Summerford, executive director of Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge. “Purchasing this land will not only prevent development from occurring adjacent to one of the bison pastures, but also conserve wildlife habitat within the city limits in one of the fastest growing cities in the country.”

The property, purchased for $3.1 million, will be integrated into the facility as outlined in the Nature Center Master Plan approved by the City Council in 2003. Land use recommendations in the Master Plan recommend acquiring property along Jacksboro Highway.

The Open Space Conservation Program helps preserve the important habitat, ecosystem services and recreational opportunities provided by the Nature Center by combining GIS-based computer mapping and modeling with public input for a natural areas prioritization process.

About the author

Mindia Whittier