Katy Prairie Conservancy adds approximately 965 acres for conservation

By George Slaughter, News Editor
Posted 1/18/22

The Katy Prairie Conservancy has acquired about 965 acres that will be protected from any future commercial development.

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Katy Prairie Conservancy adds approximately 965 acres for conservation

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The Katy Prairie Conservancy has acquired about 965 acres that will be protected from any future commercial development.

The new acreage came in two separate acquisitions. The first was for about 160 acres on the Katy Prairie Preserve in Waller County. This acreage is next to other protected lands. It falls within a nine-square mile area designated for many conservation projects.

The Waller County property has about 90 acres of agricultural wetlands used for rice farming. The rest is grassland. The conservancy said the tract provides wetland habitat when rice is being farmed. Meanwhile, the grasslands provide habitat for an plenty of grassland bird species. Sandhill cranes and long-billed curlew also use the grasslands.

The second acquisition was a donation of about 805 acres in Matagorda County.

The conservancy said the Matagorda County conservation easement is a working farm and ranch. During the fall, winter and spring, the shallow freshwater provides a habitat for migratory birds and waterfowl hunting.

In the winter, the wetlands provide foraging and roosting areas for wetland-dependent wildlife and birds. The conservancy said the property is near other conservation properties. It said the property location helps it meet its goal of protecting large, contiguous areas of land for current and future generations.

The conservancy said in a news release it now manages 30,127 acres.

The conservancy said its goal is to add about 5,000 acres to the southwestern part of the preserve. These lands will include open areas for public access, research and recreation.

The conservancy said the managed areas will have a special habitat for wildlife. It will have properties protected with flood plain easements to help with regional flood control. It will also have lands that ensure local farming, grazing, and food production.

Mary Anne Piacentini, conservancy president and CEO, said a need exists to conserve land in the Greater Houston area.

“The loss of these lands threatens the well-being of people and wildlife,” Piacentini said. “Protected lands, such as the newly protected properties on the Katy Prairie Preserve and in Matagorda County, serve our community by keeping land in agriculture, linking current generations to natural heritage, and connecting people to nature."

Piacentini said the protected lands also provide critical habitat for wildlife. This includes birds traveling through the Central Flyway.

The conservancy invites the public to visit the Katy Prairie, which is about 16 miles north of the City of Katy. For more information, visit the website katyprairie.org.

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