Ep. 5-2: The Urban Prairie – Tandy Hills Natural Area

Today’s episode features Don and Debora Young, founders of the Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area. Don and Debora have been spreading the word about this amazing remnant prairie in east Fort Worth for several decades and when oil and gas exploration activity came to Fort Worth, they wanted to do something to protect this special place. Thus, Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area was formed. Through the years the group has put together a decade of Prairie Fests as well as other outings for groups to get to know Tandy Hills and the unique flora and fauna that reside in this urban prairie landscape.

My parents grew up in the area but it wasn’t until 2010 that I really became familiar with the park and the treasures residing within it. As an avid reader of Don’s Prairie Notes newsletter, I keep tabs on the goings on of the park every month. I knew that I wanted to showcase Tandy Hills and get a bit more insight into the park and Don and Debora were the perfect people to speak with to shed light on the history of the park and just what it means to them.

Be sure to check out the shownotes below to find out how to visit Tandy Hills and how you can support Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area!






Ft. Worth from Tandy Hills

Music: “New Day” by Lee Rosevere

Download Ep. 5-2

Show Notes:
+Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area
+Prairie Notes Newsletter
+Tandy Hills/Stratford Park Strategic Master Plan
+Tandy Hills iNaturalist page
+Don Young Glass Studio
+The Art of Debora Young
+Fort Worth Nature Center

Blog posts I’ve written over the years about Tandy Hills:
+Nature in the City: Tandy Hills Natural Area
+Fresh Air at Tandy Hills
+Winter Ramble at Tandy Hills Natural Area
+Trout Lilies at Tandy Hills
+Awaiting Spring at Tandy Hills
+Texas Wildflowers | Eustoma exaltatum ssp. russellianum, Texas bluebells
+Early Spring at Tandy Hills
+A Tandy Hills evening
+Trout Lilies in Macro
+Texas Wildflowers | Erythronium albidum, Trout Lily
+Prairie Fest 2011 Recap


Ep. 5-1: Welcome Back – The Summer Garden, Alaska, and a New Season

Music: “New Day” by Lee Rosevere

Download Ep. 5-1

Show Notes:
+Building a Bat House
+Orange Blaze: A Florida Trail Podcast
+Reducing weeds: a 101 on soil solarization, with sonja birthisel on A Way To Garden Podcast


Summer Encore: Humane Gardening | Nancy Lawson

Writer and gardener Nancy Lawson takes gardening for wildlife to the next level. After first encountering her book via my library system’s digital lending services, I have since fallen for the way Nancy writes about wildlife and their interactions in our garden and in our lives. She frequently touches on points that create those ‘aha’ moments and you wonder why you hadn’t been thinking that way from the start. The episode is packed full of great ideas and ways to re-think your approach to gardening for wildlife.

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A wooden swing used to hang from this trellis. A couple of months ago, I sat on its lichen-covered planks, and it gave way. I’ve replaced it with an old chair that will one day give way too. Knockout roses used to surround the swing, fronted by catmint and mulch all around the border. Over time, the birds, bees, squirrels and other wild gardeners conspired with wind and rain to supplant those original garden center finds with wild senna, violets, pokeweed, broomsedge, black raspberry, wild grapevines, Virginia creeper, boneset, asters, Canadian black snakeroot, false nettle and hickory trees — all of them native plants that feed and shelter wildlife and none of them added by me. 🌱 The trumpet vine I originally planted remains, popping up where it pleases and not flowering a whole lot. But I think one day, when conditions are right, the vine will be resplendent, in its own time and on its own terms. In the meantime, I sit here ensconced in green of all shapes and shades, trying to understand what it might be like to be a plant, looking for the light, waiting for the waterfall, and beckoning the bees. The buds on some of the sennas are nearly bursting, and in a few short days this space will be abuzz from dawn to dusk. 🌱 I’ll never really know what it’s like to be a senna or a violet or the tiny jumping insect crawling on my chest at the moment. But here in this chair, where I am just one life and one species among so many others, I can watch and listen and feel and try to imagine, and in that imagining let new ideas take root for helping all of our wild friends grow and flourish. #plantlove #haveyouthankedaplanttoday

A post shared by Nancy Lawson (@humanegardener) on

Music: “New Day” by Lee Rosevere

Download Nancy Lawson

Show Notes:
Episode 3-5 with Nancy Lawson

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