Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge - Fort Worth, Texas
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member txoilgas
N 32° 49.715 W 097° 28.769
14S E 642321 N 3633307
Quick Description: Visitors to the FWNC&R are invited to experience the beauty this native landscape has to offer.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 9/30/2009 7:15:46 AM
Waymark Code: WM7BA0
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member BarbershopDru
Views: 8

Long Description:
From their website.

"The FWNC&R is a hidden jewel, a wilderness comprised of forests, prairies, and wetlands reminiscent of how much of the Fort Worth/Dallas metroplex once looked. Replete with native flora and fauna, the area beckons to those searching for a piece of nature to refresh their spirits and reintroduce a measure of tranquility to their increasingly urban lifestyles.

Over 3600 acres, the FWNC&R is one of the largest city-owned nature centers in the United States and offers residents and visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in the natural history of north central Texas . Over 20 miles of hiking trails provide easy access to a myriad of natural wonders to be found on the Refuge. Staff naturalists at the Hardwicke Interpretive Center are available to facilitate your exploration.

The mission of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge is "To enhance the quality of life by enrolling and educating our community in the preservation and protection of natural areas while standing as an example of these same principles and values in North Central Texas." This statement is the guiding principle that drives all facets of the FWNC&R. This includes our educational and recreational program offerings, location and routes of trails, and choice of habitat restoration methods.

After years of studying this beautiful, historical, and ecologically important property, our professional staff of naturalists has developed a great depth of appreciation for and understanding of this dynamic landscape. Educational programming and resource management plans to support our mission are drawn from this growing pool of knowledge.

Appreciation for the natural history of North Texas begins with the study of its geology, soils, and vegetation associations. The FWNC&R's 3600+ acres stretch across a transition zone or ecotone between two major ecological communities - the Fort Worth (Grand) Prairie and the Western Cross Timbers. The West Fork of the Trinity River, with its associated tributaries and wetlands, adds another layer of complexity to this diverse landscape as it dissects a meandering path through the park.

The Fort Worth Prairie is a true mid- and tall grassland community found on the eroding Walnut Shell limestone formation. Grasses such as little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), yellow indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans), big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), Sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) and meadow dropseed (Sporobolus asper var. drummondii) form a dense matrix interspersed with a wide variety of forbs (wildflowers).

Beneath this Cretaceous-era limestone layer, the sandy/clay Paluxy formation supports the Western Cross Timbers oak-tallgrass savanna. This savanna community, which extends northeastward into Oklahoma and Kansas, represents the last westernmost vestige of the great eastern deciduous forests. Post Oak (Quercus stellata) is the dominant woody plant of the Cross Timbers and first-growth trees over 300 years old are present on the FWNC&R. Forested patches intermingle with grasslands dominated by little bluestem and yellow Indiangrass.

As the upland Cross Timbers savanna slopes down to the riparian zones along the watercourses, new additions to the floral and faunal community of the FWNC&R appear. Deep alluvial deposits support large overstory trees such as Pecan (Carya illinoensis), Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa), Chinkapin Oak (Quercus muhlenbergii) and Eastern Cottonwood (Populus deltoides).

Nine miles of paved roads provide trailhead access and opportunities to enjoy a number of scenic views. Hikers can enjoy our extensive trail system that allows exploration of these varied plant and animal communities while preserving plenty of undisturbed habitat for wildlife. Visitors can also participate in a wide variety of educational programs and even volunteer to lend a hand with management activities such as wildlife surveys and grassland restoration."

Estimated size of the public land (in regional measurement standard: hectares, acres, kms, etc.): 3,600 acrea

Is there a trail system?: Yes

If there is a trail system, please describe length, terrain, etc.:
There are numerous hiking/walking trails. These are moderate to easy walks. They all begin and end at parking areas.

What points of interest are there?:
Heavly wooded along side a lake with several vistas of the lake.

What activities are available?:
No structured activities are available.

List of known hazards (cliffs, snakes, poison plants, etc.):
This is a natural area so there is the possibility of posion ivy and other critters. Stay on the walkways and follow sineage.

Dogs Allowed?: Yes

Is a permit/fee required?: Yes

If a permit/fee is required please describe in detail how to get one, how much, etc.:
$4 at the entrance, $3 for seniors.

Please supply the website of the land if available: [Web Link]

Hours of accessibility?: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
Visitors are encouraged to supply a picture of either themselves or their GPS at the trailhead and/or signage of the public access lands - describe your experience there and what you saw - tell us why other folks should come visit!

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