Deer Park Prairie conservationists raise $4 million needed to save land

The Bayou Land Conservancy is trying to raise $4 million to purchase a Deer Park prairie that other developers want to buy for a project.

February 24, 2014 2:53:06 PM PST
A virtually untouched Deer Park Prairie is going to stay just that way after all.

The Bayou Land Conservancy announced today that the group has finally raised the $4 million needed to purchase the prairie from a developer who planned to turn it into another real estate project.

The developer bought the land a few years ago. Later, a prairie expert discovered it and asked for permission to explore it. The 53 acres turned out to be a coastal Cajun prairie that is home to some of the rarest and most unique plants and wildlife. In fact, conservationists say this type of prairie that is almost extinct in the greater Houston area.

The Bayou Land Conservancy was initially given a late-August deadline to raise the money to buy back the land from the developer, but when that date approached, the group was still about $800,000 shy of their goal. The conservancy was then granted a three-week extension, which was set to expire at midnight tonight, and it finally met the $4 million mark. The group says it took more than 1,000 donors to get there.

The group now plans to turn the prairie over to the Native Prairie Association of Texas to protect it, forever.

The group is planning a celebration event at 7pm tonight at the Monument Inn in La Porte.

The city of Deer Park plans to allow pedestrian access if the Bayou Land Conservancy can purchase the prairie. Right now, along with personal donations, another corporate and family foundation pledged, they still need $800,000.

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