Flora and Fauna

Plants provide the habitat for wildlife in the Meadow; and the combination of water, soils, topography, and influence of man and animals determines what grows where.

In some areas, the Meadow is recovering from decades of farming and is amazingly rich in plant diversity. Other areas require intervention to remove non-native plants where they have become a monoculture, limiting native diversity.

The availability of water and the land management practices of the past have combined to create several distinct habitat types:

connemara meadow crane

Lower Meadow Wetlands (4 acres)

The shallow saddle of the Lower Meadow is dominated by plants adapted to saturated soil conditions. These wetlands resulted from very low-permeable soils, gentle topography and the input of water from overflows of Rowlett Creek and Upper Meadow runoff.

connemara meadow grasses

Lower Meadow Grasslands (32 acres)

Grasses and wildflowers that favor moist soil conditions grow here. This floodplain habitat along with the wetlands supports reptiles, amphibians, aquatic invertebrates, and aquatic and emergent vegetation.

flowering trees

Rowlett Creek and Riparian Zone (7 acres)

The forests on either side of Rowlett Creek favor moist conditions provided by this large perennial stream. This riparian zone is a very biologically diverse habitat and critical as a wildlife corridor.


Fence Rows and Wooded Islands (7 acres)

Fence-row woodlands form a natural buffer around the Meadow in areas of both wet and dry soils and along perimeter and interior fence lines established during the property’s history of agricultural use. This habitat provides important wildlife corridors and connectors between other habitat types on the property.

connemara meadow clouds tall grasses

Upper Meadow Grasslands (22 acres)

Upland grasslands are located on the hillside above the Rowlett Creek floodplain. Here grasses and wildflowers thrive despite the drier soil and steeper slopes. Vegetation is less thick than in moist areas, but just as diverse. The past agricultural history of this portion of the Meadow is evidenced by the existing terrace system.