10 Acre Blackland Prairie Restoration Project
Founded in 1967, the Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney Texas consists of a natural science museum, indoor and outdoor exhibits, over six miles of nature trails, an outdoor amphitheater and a 289 acre wildlife sanctuary. The Heard hosts more than 100,000 visitors each year, drawing families, educators, researchers, environmentalists, and more. Visitors hike the trails year round (self-guided or interpreted by Heard volunteers and staff, by reservation) and have the opportunity encounter many species of flora and fauna. Programs offered by the Heard include exhibits, school field trips, outreach programs, homeschool natural science programs, preschool natural science programs, summer nature camps, birthday parties, scouting initiatives, environmental research programs, team-building initiatives, night hikes and community events.
Protected for its biological importance and for scientific and educational use, this nature preserve is part of the less than 1% of the Blackland Prairie (the most endangered ecosystem in North America) that remains. The Heard Wildlife Sanctuary is a nature preserve rather than a park because of the special character of this area and the rarity of some of its plants and animals. Preserving these natural resources depends on our collective stewardship. Because the Heard does not receive regular tax funding, improvements to our facility and conservation of these resources are made possible with the support of individuals like you through donations, admissions and volunteering.
The Heard was founded in 1967 by Bessie Heard at the age of 80. In a time when the rate of expansion of the Metroplex was slower than today, she foresaw the need to preserve a place where future generations could experience nature. The Heard's mission of bringing nature and people together is largely fulfilled through onsite educational programs, which emphasizes an appreciation of nature and its conservation and utilizes the natural resources available within our 289-acre nature preserve.
The Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary located in McKinney, TX also manages roughly 60 combined acres of Blackland Prairie restoration sites. The Blackland Prairie ecoregion once covered over 19,000 square miles in Texas, which began at the Red River, north of Dallas, and extended south to present-day San Antonio. Now, less than 1% of this ecologically critical ecosystem remains.
Bringing nature and people together to discover, enjoy, experience, restore and preserve our priceless environment.
This North Texas Giving Day, please consider helping the Heard reseed 10 acres of our (289-acre) nature preserve. Each dollar donated will help us reseed approximately 15 square feet of prairie! Funds from this campaign will go toward seeds, equipment, and project labor.
Because the seeds needed for this project are highly specific and available from limited sources, they are more expensive than seeds you might see in stores for more common species. Additionally, our hope is to use sources that have regional proximity to our nature preserve.
Why is this important?
By reseeding our prairie, we will be able to better combat invasive plant species that continually make their way into endangered Blackland Prairie ecosystems. We’ll also be able to better support our resident wildlife by creating a more robust food web and habitat.
Additionally, we’ll be better able to captivate the general public with a colorful array of native wildflowers, forbs, and bunch grasses. These plants will primarily bloom in the spring and early fall, offering the general public two incredible opportunities to get a glimpse of what Texas once looked like.
Prairies once covered a great deal of North America but now the Blackland Prairie is one of the rarest and most endangered ecosystems in the world. Due to its rich, fertile soil and minimal tree cover, much of this ecosystem was converted to agricultural uses. This eventually made it easy to convert to industrial, commercial, and residential uses. Non-native plants often make their way into the wildlife sanctuary and historic methods of keeping trees and large shrubs out (such as wildfire and buffalo) are difficult to utilize today.
As a result, this project will be comprised of several steps that involve mowing and raking existing plant life, preparing the soil for new seeds, and broadcasting the seeds at an appropriate time of year to enhance the potential germination rates.
Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to bringing nature and people together to discover, enjoy, experience, restore and preserve our priceless environment. Your support through financial contributions will help ensure that the Heard, including a 289-acre nature preserve, will be sustained.
Thank you for your consideration of this project and your support!
Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary Inc.
Tax id (EIN)
Animals, Environment & Conservation, Education - STEM
$1,000,000 - $2,999,999
Collin, Dallas, Denton, Fannin, Grayson, Hunt, Rockwall
Address1 Nature Place