Friday, May 6, 2016, by Pat Kelly
In Arlington, Texas, with so much concern over economic development, the few nature preserves that we have in this city have been neglected.
Vegetation management should be a concern for the City Of Arlington, Texas and its natural areas.
We are proud to have two Post Oak Woodlands in Arlington that have been designated nature preserves.
The Randol Mill Park Nature Preserve and the Southwest Nature Preserve both are rare jewels.
Nature Preserves are defined as areas that have the ability to renew themselves with indigenous or native plants.
These two Arlington nature preserves are overgrown with pioneer species trees and shrubs interfering with the native trees and plants ability to renew and re-germinate.
Based on the report Ecosystem-based Vegetation Management Prescriptions For Federally-owned Land at Grapevine and Lewisville Lakes; page 10, Understory – Typical thicket forming species, that include stands of cedar elm trees, should be thinned to recreate more natural, presettlement conditions sense controlled burns are not feasible.
This vegetation management would recreate what nature did on its own in the past and would preserve the post oak woodlands allowing the post oak tree with its sensitive tree roots to grow and thrive in absence of the more aggressive tree roots of the cedar elm tree with its high surface root density characteristics.
As conservationists we need to be responsible for the wildlife as well.
Wild animals in urban areas are a danger to themselves, to citizens, young and old and to domestic pets.
Civilizations have been aware of this throughout the millennium and their answer to this issue has been to create a safety buffer zone between the wildlife and citizens and their homes or dwellings.
In the past controlled burns were used to create these safety buffer zones.
Because this method of creating a safety buffer zone is not feasible in urban areas mowing the perimeter of nature preserves where land abuts residential property is encouraged.
The hot, dry north Texas climate requires us to have certain guidelines for success in managing the woodland floor to maintain its flora and fauna.
Mowing including volunteer safety mowing should only occur within a day before or after a rain, with the lightest equipment to do the job, a very sharp cutting blade, with the mower deck on its highest setting and mow after the sun (around 5 pm or later).
These simple guidelines will help achieve success for healthy native woodlands, safe wildlife and a safe community.
If as a good citizen this information sounds logical to you please contact our Mayor’s Office and make them aware of your support for this virtuous subject.
A land ethic … reflects the existence of an
ecological science, and this in turn reflects a
conviction of individual responsibility for the
health of the land. Health is the capacity of the
land for self-renewal. Conservation is our effort
to understand and preserve this capacity.