Protecting a Prairie Pothole

By Mary Spencer, certified Texas Master Naturalist

Thanks to the Mid-Coast Chapter of Texas Master Naturalist, I found the perfect solution for the acreage I owned on Myrtle Street in Rockport. I purchased this 4.23-acre lot in 2005, planning to build on it. Most of the property is thick with Live Oak trees, and I was thrilled when I found out that 1.23 acres of the property was a Prairie Pothole Wetland.

Time passed and situations changed. I no longer wanted to build or pay more than $800 a year in taxes, so I put the property on the market. I got an immediate offer from a buyer who wanted to put horses on the land. Suddenly, I saw a big snag. Once I sold it, I would have no control over that small, priceless wetland and would not be able to protect it. Horses would ruin it.

Becoming a Mid-Coast Master Naturalist brought my best solution. Through the training, I had learned the value of my small wetland. I contacted Aransas First, a non-profit land trust dedicated to conserving sensitive habitat in Aransas County, and I donated the property to them. They were delighted to be able to take it under their protection, and I am relieved and thrilled that my prairie pothole wetland will become part the greater reserve of natural land. It gives me great pleasure to leave this land for posterity.

Mary Spencer

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