Prairie Fest in Peril
Organizers are looking for help to keep Fort Worth’s green celebration thriving
Over the past six years, Young carved a reputation as a passionate activist fighting for environmental issues in a city that keeps opening its doors wider and wider to the gas drilling industry. His activism stemmed from a desire to resist drilling at Tandy Hills Natural Area, the 160 acres of rolling hills that welcome motorists driving along I-30 near Oakland Avenue.
Prairie Fest was started in an effort to help save Tandy Hills. The idea was to invite people to the prairie for a festival so they would learn to love it and help with the hard work it takes to save it from the dirty drillers.
Fort Worth’s one-of-a-kind Prairie Fest might soon be none-of-a-kind. The city’s unique festival, approaching its sixth anniversary, is tottering on the brink of extinction — only an influx of new volunteers is likely to save it. The amount of work required to present the festival has grown drastically in the past couple of years.
“Everything about it has gotten more complicated,” Prairie Fest founder Don Young said. “All of us were completely exhausted by last year’s festival.”
Several longtime volunteers scaled back their efforts for various personal reasons, and others have been slow to take up the slack. This puts an increased burden on Young, who is the festival’s heart and soul but also is struggling to adjust priorities in his life.
Look folks, I have a full-time job and a part-time job and a blog-job. Many of us are run ragged and we need some new blood to step up and do their part to save this place. Won’t someone please step up?
A Thanksgiving Prayer for Tandy Hills Natural Area
Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 2010
Thanks for the Trout Lilies whose hopeful blooms remind that spring will
indeed come again for them and for us
thanks for the Wild Turkeys that appear on Spring mornings to forage on
seeds and insects by day and roost in the trees by night –
thanks for the people who actually walk the prairie hills and even more for
those who never go but love them just for existing –
thanks for the Hawks that remind me to look up and for sharpening my
senses and those of the White-wing Dove and Cotton-tail rabbit –
thanks for the Owls, the Raccoons the Rat snakes the Bats and the
Opossums in their nocturnal survival struggle –
thanks for the Purple Coneflower and American Basketflower for waving
the patriotic flags of nature mystics –
thanks for prairie perfume of late summer, that mix of damp limestone,
Sage, Sumac, Pennyroyal and Juniper that Chanel will never capture –
thanks for the Barnett Shale that reminds me to protect our prairie
treasure from those who see only that which they can take to the bank –
thanks for the millions of Tiger Swallowtail eggs that remind me to look
deeper with my eye and my heart –
thanks for the Milkweed seed-pods that burst with flying seeds so
efficiently, so reliably and so symbiotically with the Monarch Butterfly –
thanks for that single, solitary Purple Paintbrush that bloomed
unexpectedly on November 7, 2010, just when I needed it –
thanks for the Indian Grass, Turkey-foot, Little Bluestem and Sky-drop
Aster for their amber autumn waves and purple prairie majesty –
thanks for the prairie hills themselves, the ever-threatened hills, that keep
pulling me back to their nurturing wheel of life.
Inspired by, Thanksgiving Prayer, by William S. Burroughs, November 28, 1986.