Sunday, April 13, 2014

Whack-a-Weed Day: Round 2

Our first Whack-a-Weed Day was a great success, thanks to our dedicated volunteers! However, spring is in full swing and the invasive grasses are continuing to sprout in the prairie. So a second round of weed whacking is being organized by park manager Joan Singh. 

Whack-a-Weed Day: Round 2 is scheduled for Saturday, April 26. You can register for the event and find out more details here.  Volunteers of all ages and skill levels are welcome. 

Prairie restoration is a long-term process. It takes years, even decades, to completely eradicate invasive plants and return a tract of prairie to its native state. By assisting in this process, you are helping to ensure that this natural treasure will continue to awe and inspire park visitors with its vibrant wildflowers, butterflies and birds for years to come.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Wack-A-Weed Day

Commons Ford in full spring bloom in the summer of 2012.

Join us in our continuing fight to remove more invasives as a part of the Commons Ford Prairie Restoration Project.  Our restoration project is entering its fifth year and in that time we have made great strides.  Still, we must make every effort to remove any remaining invasive grasses in order to allow the natives to grow and flourish. For the volunteer day, we will especially be concentrating on the King Ranch bluestem.

NPS volunteer removing invasives as part of a prairie restoration project

If you are interested, bring your shovel (we will have a few on hand if you do not have your own) and gloves and join us. We will be there from 8 a.m. to noon, but feel free to choose your own time and work as little or as much as you would like. This project qualifies for Master Naturalist volunteer hours.  Let us know if you need documentation. It's also a great opportunity to see and ask questions about native plants and prairie restoration.
Effective tools for battling invasive grasses and forbs in the prairie.

 We will also provide water and snacks.  Since we will be working in the prairie, although the grass is very low, long pants and long sleeves are recommended.  No experience necessary and everyone is welcome.  Come be a part of this important restoration project. Registration is not necessary but if you have any questions, email Diane Sherrill at

Sunday March 23 8am -12pm
Commons Ford Ranch Metro Park
614 N. Commons Ford Rd.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

We're Live!

The episode of Central Texas Gardener featuring the Commons Ford Prairie Restoration is live on the air!


You can watch the full episode here or link to it below or on either the KLRU or PBS websites.

Thank you to Central Texas Gardener for spreading the word on our project and the importance of prairie restoration.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Watch us on "Central Texas Gardener"!

We are excited to announce that the Commons Ford Prairie will be featured on an upcoming episode of the Central Texas Gardener this February. You can watch us on KLRU or online at or on YouTube.

Hopefully our restoration project can inspire other Texans to restore their old pastureland's to native prairie!

Below is a list of when our episode of Central Texas Gardener will be aired on KLRU and affiliate stations. Mark your calenders!

Feb. 8
Feb. 9
Feb. 10
Noon & 4
9 a.m.
5:30 a.m.
KLRU Q (18/3)
Feb. 11
Feb. 12
Feb. 14

6:30 p.m.
7:00 a.m.
9:30 a.m.
KLRN (San Antonio)
Feb. 8
11 a.m.
KNCT (Killeen & Waco)

Feb. 8

1:30 p.m.
KBDI (Denver, CO)
Feb. 9
Feb. 11
2 p.m.
2:30 p.m.
KPBT Midland (Permian Basin)
Feb. 10

12:30 p.m.
KAMU (College Station)
Feb. 8

5:00 p.m.
KRSC (Claremore, OK)
Feb. 8
Feb. 11

KTWU (Topeka, KS)
multiple days & times

Arizona Public Media Ready TV, Tucson
Thursday (but schedule is not current)

1:30 p.m.
also on UNCMX Raleigh-Durham and K32EO Colorado Springs

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Commons Ford Prairie in 2014

We have some great news to report - Austin Parks Foundation has once again stepped up and awarded us a grant for 2014.  This grant will allow us to continue our efforts to push back the remaining invasives in the tract.  The grant will also allow us to plant a significant amount of new native wildflower and grass seeds in the prairie in 2014.  We will be discussing the new seed mix (which may include some of the more unique natives) in the next few weeks.  

We engaged Native American Seed Company to conduct a spot herbicide treatment recently to combat some of the invasive species that have persisted despite previous efforts.  We will continue to monitor the impact of that treatment as well as other aspects of the project and we will make an assessment shortly after the first of the year regarding next steps and timing.

 In another week or so, we will be scheduling our winter prairie bird surveys.  These survey results should be very interesting given that we are only a few months out from the burn.  We will be looking for volunteers - if you are interested in assisting us with these important surveys please contact us at

Given the burn and the decent rains over the past few months, the prairie looks like it is setting up very well for a vibrant spring growth.  Late-spring should be a great time to visit the park for both birds and wildflowers!