Twelve Hills Nature Center is a beautiful place to take photos
We’re happy guests want to be photographed in nature!
Please follow our guidelines to protect and preserve Twelve Hills and ensure that all guests can enjoy the wildflowers, grasses, birds and the peaceful atmosphere of the nature center.
Learn more about Twelve Hills Nature Center and why it is important to protect the prairie.
Twelve Hills Nature Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit operated by volunteers and supported by the community. Our mission is “cultivating conservation ethics through our Blackland Prairie restoration and nature education.” We welcome visitors to walk through and enjoy and learn from the prairie landscape. This is a privately owned preserve and visitors who follow the rules are welcome to enjoy it.
A brief history of the Blackland Prairie
Named for the dark, rich soil of much of North Texas, the Blackland Prairie once covered over 14 million acres of grassland. Native Americans lived here for thousands of years before Europeans arrived, and the fertile soil served as a foundational element to the settlement of Texas. After generations of farming and development, less than 0.1 percent remains intact, making restoration projects like ours all the more crucial to maintaining native biodiversity and North Texas’ ecological and cultural heritage.
A brief history of the nature center
Do you know that Twelve Hills stands on disturbed land where apartments sat from the 1950s through 1990? That’s why you can see debris like bricks, rebar, and metal in the trail. These are remnants from the removal of the apartments. The natural plant communities were scraped away when the apartments were built. When the apartments were removed the land was disrupted again.
Our ongoing restoration
Volunteers are recreating the plant community of the Blackland Prairie, present on the site from the time immediately prior to building the apartments and for eons before.
On most days of the year, planting and grooming takes place at Twelve Hills because this is such a young developing prairie. There are tiny plants and seeds over much of the land at any time of the year. Bare looking areas have been cleared, planted and seeded.
Plants indigenous to the limestone soil of the Blackland Prairie are not readily available. Most are either dug from sites about to be developed or grown by volunteers. Few can be purchased. While some seeds are purchased, many seeds of indigenous plants are collected. They are not easily replaceable. It is incredibly important to protect the plants being installed at Twelve Hills. In fact, the beauty and interest offered by the prairie plant restoration is why Twelve Hills is an appealing place!
Think of Twelve Hills as you think of a natural history museum or an arboretum and conduct yourself accordingly, with respect for the flora and fauna, their origins, and their support for native pollinators and the educational potential the Nature Center offers.