Places We Protect

Clymer Meadow Preserve

Texas

Bright green plants with pom-pom-like bright pink flowers.
Clymer Meadow Flowers at Clymer Meadow Preserve in North Texas. © R.J. Hinkle

Clymer Meadow serves as a center for study of the Blackland Prairie.

Overview

Description

Clymer Meadow Preserve, located northeast of Dallas, contains some of the largest and most diverse remnants of the Blackland Prairie—the Texas version of the tallgrass prairie that once stretched from near the Texas coast to southern Manitoba. This rare, 1,443-acre “island” of natural history is part of a larger conservation area that includes land owned by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and other private owners. As an excellent example of remnant prairie, the preserve is a key site for research and educational activities.

Named for pioneer Jim Clymer, who bought tracts here in the 1850s, Clymer Meadow’s diverse offerings include tallgrass prairie with abundant wildflowers, wildlife and wetland habitat. One of the more unusual features of the preserve are shallow, moisture-drawing basins called “gilgai.” Normal gilgai are irregular or round and generally arranged in a honeycomb-like pattern on level, heavy clay soils. Because they tend to hold water, gilgai often influence the composition of plant communities, like those at Clymer.

Access

Limited Access

Highlights

Wildflowers, native prairie, bird watching

Size

1,443 acres

Explore our work in this region

Last of the Blackland (2:10) As these grasslands are increasingly impacted by urbanization, fragmentation, and agriculture, it’s critical to understand how they’ve shaped our state’s economy and iconic culture—that intrinsic link between quintessential Texas and the landscapes that once thrived across our great state.
A wooden Clymer Meadow sign stands in green prairie.
BEST OF THE BLACKLAND Clymer Meadow protects some of the best remaining remnants of Blackland prairie. © R.J. Hinkle

Why This Place Matters

Tallgrass prairies are considered one of the most endangered landscapes in North America. Beyond preserving native habitat, TNC’s prairie restoration efforts are offering layered benefits, from absorbing and storing carbon to improving water quality. In particular, TNC’s work to restore the preserve’s Webster Tract has improved the water quality of a nearby portion of the Arnold Creek watershed, which impacts water supplies for Dallas, Houston and many communities in between.

Clymer Meadow also supports a plethora of wildlife and plant species. As a result, a significant focus here is managing the preserve to enhance biodiversity. Two globally imperiled prairie plant communities occur at Clymer Meadow: one community type showcases little bluestem and Indiangrass, and the other, gamagrass and switchgrass. Big bluestem and Canada wildrye can also be found at Clymer. Wildflowers such as rough-leaf rosinweed and American basketflower are abundant, while milkweed planting efforts are further supporting pollinators like monarch butterflies. In addition, the prairie provides habitat for many seasonal bird species, including northern harriers, eastern bluebirds and declining dickcissel and Eastern meadlowlark populations.

Expand to see more Collapse to see less

Photos from Clymer Meadow Preserve

Discover the diverse plant life and wildlife at this Blackland Prairie preserve. Tag @nature_tx on Instagram with your photos when you visit.

Purple basketflower blooms against bright green grass.
A large portion of green prairie inundated with water.
A group of nearly twenty people stand in a half circle amongst bright green prairie grass and listen to a talk at Clymer Meadow.
A closeup of four purple fall aster flowers.
A male staff member takes prairie measurements while a female intern records this information in a notebook.
An orange and black Monarch butterfly sits on a bright yellow flower amongst a larger field of yellow blooms.
An Old World swallowtail caterpillar with black and lime green stripes, dotted with white and orange streaks, sits on a flower stem enjoying a leafy snack amongst tall green prairie.
Purple blazing star blooms shoot straight up in tall spikes from thick, green prairie grass.
A woman with a camera and backpack in a big, floppy hat crouches in tall, green prairie grass to take a picture of a white flower.
Sweeping brown and green prairie pops against a cloudy purple sunset.
A closeup of tall golden Indiangrass tips in a field.
NATIVE GRASSES Indiangrass, a species native to North Texas, at Clymer Meadow. © Jacqueline Ferrato/TNC

What TNC Is Doing

As Texas’ remaining grasslands continue to be lost to fragmentation and development, understanding this landscape’s characteristics and limits to resilience have become increasingly important. TNC’s conservation work has strongly centered on effective land management techniques like prescribed fire and sustainable grazing. Recent restoration efforts have aimed to improve wetland and riparian habitats, enhancing water infiltration into the soil and providing water quality benefits for wildlife and native plants, as well as communities downstream. The removal of invasive trees and other species is also helping native plants thrive, like purple Indian paintbrush, prairie clover and other wildflowers. With the help of dedicated volunteers and Texas Master Naturalists, native seed collections take place each year for future restoration initiatives.

Universities and private research organizations have conducted more than a dozen scientific investigations at Clymer Meadow Preserve. Research projects have ranged from studying the impacts of removing invasive weed species to examining surface water flows to conducting inventories of invertebrates. Students from public and private primary and secondary schools continue to visit the preserve to learn about the ecology and value of prairies.

Expand to see more Collapse to see less

Visit