Saturday was a morning to remember for our fellow prairie enthusiasts. DPARD's Brett Johnson and TPWD's Sam Kieschnick, local Urban Biologists, lead a fantastic adventure through Harry S. Moss park in Dallas. The large group of explorers gathered on the Arborside Road area of the park. The group was split up with experienced and novice paired together to go through the prairie lands in search of pollinators. The focus was not just on the butterflies, but looking for the not so famous pollinators like the grasshoppers, dragonflies, false ants, and the 4oo native Texas bee species that are not aggressive.
The woman of the prairie, City of Dallas' Sloan Anderson, PATH's Susan Gregory, and BP's Vanessa Zamora were some of the first gathered to receive and welcome the volunteers to the BioBlitz! As everyone began to introduce themselves and become acquainted it was evident that the passion for pollinators and prairies was strong with this crowd. We learned from Ms. Anderson that there is a new division of DPARD employees breaking the scene in Dallas. The new Park Rangers are a visible presence in our city's parks and are an added resource to protecting the park's natural beauty and citizens. Their presence is expected to deter unwanted behaviors and also be a resource for citizens to access information about park happenings.
Brett Johnson explained the park's process and reasons for the need of the collected data of a BioBlitz! The information that is uploaded into iNaturalist.org is used for scientific analysis of the park lands. This gives our urban biologists the information needed to make appropriate decisions for the restoration projects. Findings of rare native plant and animal species helps them determine the process necessary to revive these natural lands. Our Blackland prairies in Texas are a rare and dying naturescape. This ecosystem is endangered and dying fast. It is up to us as citizens and stewards to the work, to get out, and go wild. Help save this native Texas land from extinction and be apart of the history to restore the Blackland prairies at White Rock Lake Park.