Savanna Restoration Project

A savanna is an open grassland area with trees interspersed throughout. The property that is now Hardberger Park was overgrazed by livestock during its 100+ years as a working dairy farm. Non-native species such as King Ranch Bluestem and Bermuda Grass have persisted ever since. Woody species such as Texas Persimmon and Ashe juniper trees also crowded out native grasses. With agriculture and livestock grazing, wildfires were no longer frequent, allowing the woody species to take hold and grow. A large part of what is now dense woodland in Hardberger Park was historically savanna and tall to midgrass prairie.

Since 2009, 13 acres of native grasses have been planted near the beginning of the Oak Loop Trail, restoring the land to savanna. Grasses planted and seeded include Big Bluestem, Little Bluestem, Eastern Gama Grass, Indiangrass, Sideoats Grama, Upland Switchgrass, Inland Sea Oats and Texas Cupgrass.

The savanna provides a vital and diverse habitat for birds and other wildlife. Additional grasslands will be planted along the Land Bridge, further restoring natural habitat and reclaiming about an acre of habitat over the parkway.

Features in or near the Savanna: