For more than three decades, the Connemara Conservancy has been at the forefront of land conservation and environmental education in Texas.
From family farms to conservation-minded residential developments, Connemara works with farmers, ranchers and other landowners as well as city officials and forward-thinking developers to protect over 6,000 acres of land throughout North Texas.
Our service area covers four different eco-regions in 57 counties: Blackland Prairie, Post-Oak Savannah, Cross Timbers and Rolling Plains.
In addition, thousands of students, families and organizations participate in our restoration and environmental education programs each year.
The Connemara Conservancy was founded in 1981 by Frances Williams and her daughter, Amy Monier, as one the first land trusts in Texas.
Ahead of her time, in the mid-1970s Frances became concerned that her family’s farmland on the border of Allen and Plano was in jeopardy of succumbing to urban sprawl moving north from Dallas. When lights of a new Plano football stadium were erected within sight of the family’s farm, Frances realized that development was inevitable. As growth from Dallas surged north and consumed more and more of the Texas landscape, she knew future generations would have less and less access to open spaces.
Finally, when a young child visiting the family farm couldn’t identify a pecan, Frances decided it was time to act.
Long a conservationist and political activist, Frances felt that it was her responsibility to preserve, for the public good, at least some of the land that had given her family so much pleasure. With her daughter, Amy, she began researching ways to preserve and protect the land.
After traveling throughout the United States to study what others had done in similar situations they decided to establish one of the state’s first land trusts.
In December 1981, Frances established the Connemara Conservancy. The conservancy was presented with a gift of 72 acres of family land along Rowlett Creek, thus protecting it in perpetuity. To many friends and acquaintances, it seemed a strange decision. With Montgomery Farm surrounded by thousands of acres of open farmland they questioned why Frances would make such a decision. But Frances knew better.
In order to attract “city folk” to enjoy the country, Frances and Amy organized sculpture shows, concerts and other events on the Connemara Meadow. People came from across North Texas to enjoy the open spaces of Connemara.
From that beginning, Connemara has grown to become one of the state’s recognized leaders in land conservation and environmental education, now protecting more than 6,000 acres of open space. And decades later people young and old continue to come to the original 72-acre Connemara Meadow – attracted to an oasis of beauty and serenity in the midst of suburban sprawl where they can be at one with nature. Just as Frances had envisioned they would.
The vision of the Connemara Conservancy Foundation is to become a nationally recognized leader in the protection and conservation of open space and critical habitats in order to improve the quality of life for current and future generations.
Connemara’s mission is to help farmers, ranchers and other landowners as well as developers and local governments protect and conserve important tracts of remaining open space. In addition, Connemara is committed to educating current and future generations on the important role that open space plays in improving our quality of life.