Connemara adds new easement in Flower Mound

Connemara Conservation Director RJ Taylor and Mark Weatherford complete the agreement protecting 16 acres of open space in west Flower Mound.

Connemara Conservation Director RJ Taylor and Mark Weatherford complete the agreement protecting 16 acres of open space in west Flower Mound.

I am very excited to announce that half of the new 32-acre High Meadow residential subdivision in west Flower Mound will feature protected open space, thanks to an agreement between developer Mark Weatherford and the Connemara Conservancy.

A portion of protected open space at High Meadow.

A portion of protected open space at High Meadow.

Connemara will hold an easement on the 16 acres, guaranteeing that the wooded and prairie conservation land will remain undeveloped in perpetuity. The easement adjoins land already protected by Connemara in the Chimney Rock Estates subdivision of Flower Mound and provides an additional layer of water quality protection for runoff that enters Corps of Engineers land and Lake Grapevine.

This is forward-thinking, smart development at its finest. Not only has Mark guaranteed that High Meadow residents will have access to open space in its most natural state, he is also providing a way to help protect the quality of an important water supply.

“I couldn’t ask for a better partner,” said Mark, who also worked with Connemara on the original planning of the easements of the Chimney Rock Estates development. “I have a great comfort level with the organization from our past experience, and it was important that we continue to use that concept of conservation-friendly residential development on the adjoining tract of prairie and forest lands.”

The 16 additional acres bring the total number currently protected by the Connemara Conservancy to almost 5,400 acres throughout North Texas.

 

Connemara hosting free screening of “Green Fire” Thursday at Allen library

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If you missed our April screening of Green Fire, you have another chance to experience the beautiful film about legendary environmentalist Aldo Leopold on Thursday at the Allen Public Library.

Connemara is sponsoring a free screening of Green Fire: Aldo Leopold And A Land Ethic For Our Time on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Library Auditorium.

Prior to the movie will be an airing of Whatever Befalls The Earth, a short documentary made three decades ago that looks at concern about the potential loss of open space as Collin County began to grow and how a group of forward-thinking citizens put a plan in place to make sure that land preservation was a part of future development.

Green Fire is a full-length film about Leopold, author of The Sand County Almanac whose legendary environmental work shaped and influenced current U.S. National Parks environmental policy.

Connemara board member and Allen councilman Ross Obermeyer said that decades later, Leopold’s ideas of thoughtful conservation are reflected in the way cities such as Allen have taken care to make sure that open space plays an important role in development.

“As a member of the community of Allen, I feel that access to open space is a key function of our parks and recreation programs,” he said. “Open space provides children a place to run, families a place to roam, and our community a place to gather.  The City of Allen has done a tremendous job of giving our community access to open space and recreational programing.”

Robert and Kacy Lyford of Patina Green, who have provided food and decorations for Connemara’s Into The Meadow cocktail receptions, will provide appetizers, and Pure Land Organics, a family farm run by Jack and Megan Neubauer, will have organic produce for sale.

The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr.  For more information, call 214-509-4911.

 

SAVE THE DATE: 5th Annual “Into The Meadow” Set For Sept. 20

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Mark your calendar for Saturday, Sept. 20, when we will host the 5th annual Into The Meadow.

Connemara’s celebration of  local food, local farms and the beauty of natural open space will begin at 5 p.m. with a reception in the Pecan Grove, followed by dinner and dancing under the stars.

We’ll have more information on tickets and sponsorship opportunities in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, you can relive last year’s sold-out event at the 2013 Into The Meadow Photo Gallery.

 

Connemara Designated an Allen Top 10 Springy Thingie

The City of Allen’s Convention and Visitor’s Bureau has designated the Connemara Meadow Nature Preserve as one of its
2014 Top 10 Springy Thingies in Allen

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So join us on Sunday, April 27th 1:00 p.m. for our Open House – it should be a great Spring Day!

Join Us for Green Fire at the Alamo Drafthouse

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Join Connemara for a special Earth Day screening of Green Fire!

When: April 22, 2014. 6:00 p.m.

Where: Alamo Drafthouse in Richardson

Ticket includes one drink ticket for the bar, appetizers and admission to the film.

Green Fire describes the formation of Leopold’s idea, exploring how it changed one man and later permeated through all arenas of conservation. The film draws on Leopold’s life and experiences to provide context and validity, then explores the deep impact of his thinking on conservation projects around the world today. Through these examples, the film challenges viewers to contemplate their own relationship with the land community.

Get your tickets now!

Connemara Conservancy Celebrates Record Growth In 2013

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The Connemara Conservancy Foundation celebrated its most successful year ever for protecting open space in 2013, adding 1,420 acres of land under five new conservation easements to the conservancy’s easement portfolio.

“It was an amazing year,” said Executive Director Sandra Greenway. “It has become obvious that the need for Connemara has never been greater. There is a growing awareness of the importance of open space in maintaining our quality of life, and it is rewarding to see so many landowners, developers and local governments working together to make sure that we develop the remaining areas of North Texas in a thoughtful way that will benefit generations to come.

”More than 1,400 additional acres of open space were placed under easement as both working ranches and natural areas, bringing the total number of acres now being forever protected by Connemara to more than 5,400.

The new easements included:

  • Working with the Rowden family in Bullard Texas, Connemara is protecting 76.5 acres of the family’s land along W. Mud Creek in Smith County.  The property is a floodplain area and will be planted with wetland trees and used as a wetlands mitigation bank to offset impacts to other wetland losses in that area of the state.
  • Partnering with the Dixon Water Foundation to place a conservation easement on their second organic cattle and sheep ranch in Cooke County south of Muenster. The 778-acre ranch is characterized by native tall grass prairie and wide open spaces where the cattle are on a grazing management plan to sustain high quality pastures.
  • Partnering with two landowners in Henderson County east of Athens to place two conservation easements on 24,500 linear feet of stream channels and associated wooded riparian corridor on the Flat Creek watershed. This will act as mitigation for damages to streams in a reservoir building project in another east Texas watershed.
  • Completing a conservation easement on a wetland mitigation bank project in Ellis County along Interstate 45. The 347-acre floodplain area on Red Oak Creek will be enhanced by restoring wetlands and stream channels and planting wetland trees.
Among other 2013 highlights were:
  • Landowner outreach programs extending beyond Collin and Dallas Counties:
  • Master Naturalist Regional Conference in Fort Worth, Texas.
  • Native Prairies Association of Texas in Paris, Texas.
  • Cross Timbers Regional Workshop in Granbury, Texas.
  • Working with the Town of Flower Mound to update their city-wide conservation plan.
  • Developing a GIS mapping system of land conservation in North Texas.
  • Participating in the National Land Trust Advocacy Day in Washington D.C.
  • Receiving a $50,000 capacity building grant from the Dixon Water Foundation.
  • Doubled contributions during North Texas Giving Day.
  • “Into the Meadow” fundraiser, presented by Whole Foods, sold out for the fourth year in a row.
  • Hosted EarthFest in Allen, providing free access to nature for over 2000 people.
  • Received a $7,500 grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for restoration efforts
Greenway said that among the highlights expected for 2014 are:
  • Several thousand acres of additional open space to be placed under easement.
  • A “Kickoff Reception” for donors.
  • Conducting a Landowner workshop in partnership with the Upper Trinity Conservation Trust.
  • Participation in Texas Land Trust Council Conference, February 26 – 28.
  • Participation in Allen EarthFest on April 5.
  • Special Earth Day Screening of “Green Fire” at Alamo Drafthouse on April 22.
  • Participation in Earth Day Texas on April 26 and 27.
  • Participation in Native Prairies Association of Texas, State of the Prairie Conference, May 29-31
  • Hosting more workshops designed to educate landowners and developers on ways to best protect undeveloped land.

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