Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Less than ninety days after planting, many of the native wildflowers are showing signs of life on the Commons Ford Prairie. Common Sunflower, Lemon Mint, Drummond phlox, mealy blue sage and Plains Coreopsis, Mexican Hat and Lazy Daisy are but a few of the forbs which are already blooming thanks to the nearly 4 inches of rain over the past two weeks. Native grasses such as Texas cupgrass and green sprangletop have also sprouted. In the last photo, you can see that a male Lesser Goldfinch is already excited about the Common Sunflower. As we move into summer, we expect much more activity. Photos are courtesy of Neal Tuttrup.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


We are pleased to offer a presentation by George Cates of Native American Seed Company in Junction. George will discuss steps to be taken to maintain native prairies once the newly planted seeds have sprouted. Seating is limited so register early if you are interested. Click on the "Native American Seed Presentation" link about for details.


The Commons Ford Prairie Restoration Organization is pleased to announce a very special presentation by George Cates of Native American Seed Company. The presentation is entitled "The Seeds Have Sprouted - Now What?" and will focus on the establishment of a newly seeded native grassland prairie and how to maintain it.

Native prairie restoration requires much more than simply planting native grass and wildflower seeds. A rigorous monitoring and maintenance program is essential, especially in the early stages, to create the best opportunity for success. Based on his experience in planting, maintaining, and restoring native prairies as a part of his work with Native American Seed, Mr. Cates will emphasize the key steps required to establish a native prairie for the long term when it is held in the public trust.

George Cates began interning for Native American Seed in 2002 and was hired full time after graduating Austin College in 2006 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. For the past decade, he has participated in and led many NAS prairie restorations utilizing seeds harvested across the many eco-regions of Texas. George also manages NAS farming and seed production operations in Junction, TX. He has a remarkable capacity for looking at problems as “challenges” to be met, and the kind of willingness to learn that is a priceless asset. He loves to teach and share what he has learned through his experiences.

Native American Seed of Junction, Texas, is based at the center of nine eco-regions. The company’s mission is to help people restore the earth by offering a wide diversity of 100% locally adapted native species. Practical solutions for ecological land management and responsible beauty are goals that we can all achieve by working together using the best management practices available.

Commons Ford Prairies Restoration Organization is a community organization which has developed a partnership with Austin Parks and Recreation Department to carry out its goal of implementing a native prairie restoration project at Commons Ford Park. The organization has worked with other partners on the project including Austin Parks Foundation, Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, Travis Audubon Society and Native Prairies Association of Texas and has received grants from Austin Parks Foundation, TogetherGreen (National Audubon Society/Toyota), Field Guides and Patagonia.

This event is open to the public. Given the limited seating, registration is required. To make a reservation, please contact Ed Fair at commonsfordpro@gmail.com.

When: Saturday, June 9, 2012 from 1:30 – 2:30 PM Where: The Commons, Laura Bush Community Library 9411 W. Bee Caves Rd./Austin, TX

Brought to you by Commons Ford Prairie Restoration Organization and the Laura Bush Community Library