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Creating Abundance in Endangered Species Habitat

The land use history of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve has had a substantial impact on the health, viability, and diversity of our ecosystems. Borrowing techniques and designs from permaculture, forest gardening, natural farming, as well as traditional land management methods, we are restoring and creating habitat for the endangered black-capped vireo and golden-cheeked warbler. We are also reintroducing numerous rare and unusual plant species. Creating and restoring endangered species habitat requires focusing on the whole supporting community. Starting from the ground up, we begin with rebuilding soils, seeding broad areas to increase biodiversity, and promoting the regeneration of woody plants. We then design plant guilds to create a sustainable framework with the goal of developing vibrant, abundant, and complex systems. What’s really exciting about this work is that we can apply what we learn at the Vireo Preserve to other areas within and beyond the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve.

Join biologist Jim O’Donnell as he explains BCP research on the Vireo Preserve. We will begin with a slide show lecture documenting the history of the project and then hike to see firsthand the habitat and landscape changes.


Participants are encouraged to wear closed-toe hiking-appropriate shoes for protection. Sun protection such as sunscreen and hats are strongly recommended. Participants must bring drinking water. No drinking water will be provided. Smoking, pets, and collecting of plant materials are not permitted.

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  • Alice Hammer ; Ben H.

    We enjoyed the day and hope to volunteer in the preserves once we get settled in

    October 20, 2013

  • john b.

    Great to get long term and shorter term historical perspective of Verio Preserve. Thanks for taking the time to walk us around the preserve.

    2 · October 20, 2013

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