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Katy Prairie Conservancy Awarded $7 Million Grant

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS

April 30, 2021

By Natalie Cook Clark


The Katy Prairie Conservancy was granted a $7 million pledge to support The Texas Coastal Prairie Initiative. The organization and their partners are dedicated to the conservation of prairies and the ecosystems of the remaining greater Houston area systems, including those in Katy.


Pledge will Support Texas Coastal Prairie Initiative

The Katy Prairie Conservancy (KPC) dedicates itself at protecting the Texas prairie and its wildlife. The organization and their 21 partners have been granted a $7 million pledge to support the Texas Coastal Prairie Initiative.


“We are so grateful for this award that will allow KPC and its partners to work with private landowners to permanently protect and enhance coastal prairie, including working cattle ranches, farmland, and natural areas,” says Mary Anne Piacentini, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Katy Prairie Conservancy.


Katy Officials Acknowledge Accomplishment

“2021 is on track to have the largest land conservation effort in the organization's history,” says Chris Harris, Katy Mayor Pro Tem, after he spoke to Piacentini. “The goal is 30-50,000 contiguous acres preserved.”


The pledge comes from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through its Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP).


Conservation is the Goal

The Texas Coastal Prairie Initiative’s goal is to conserve large contiguous areas of coastal prairie through the work of KPC and its project partners.


“This initiative will sustain the coastal prairie ecosystem, preserve wildlife corridors, and help improve water quality in multiple watersheds. The threat of fragmentation and development pressure in the Texas Upper Coast makes this work especially timely, and we can’t wait to get started,” says Piacentini.


The RCPP is an important NRCS program that addresses regional natural resource concerns and enables partners to implement solutions to conservation challenges. The Texas Upper Coast has experienced rapid growth, resulting in the conversion of farms, fields, and prairies into strip malls, offices, parking lots, and proliferating suburbs – consuming thousands of acres of the coastal prairie, one of the most important and threatened ecosystems in North America.


Initiative Addresses Concerns of Disappearing Coastal Prairie

“This initiative will help KPC and its partners address one of our region’s greatest natural resource concerns – the disappearance of coastal prairie,” explains Elisa Donovan, Vice President and General Counsel for the Katy Prairie Conservancy.


“By working together with all these partners on the Texas Coastal Prairie Initiative, we will be keeping land in agriculture for local farmers and ranchers, providing new opportunities for people to enjoy nature, and conserving essential wildlife habitat corridors. I am thrilled to be a part of this well-timed work aimed to safeguard a diminishing resource that provides our community with so many benefits,” said Tim Pylate, Executive Director for the Armand Bayou Nature Center.

The KPC is a sponsor of the popular Tiger Prairie located at the corner of Highway 90 and FM 1463. The nature-inspired area is used as an outdoor classroom for biology, environmental science, art, and nature photography. Learn more about it at their website.


Learn more about The Katy Prairie Conservancy, their mission and projects at their website.


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