A Home for Blackland Prairie Raptor Center
The Master Plan for Blackland Prairie Raptor Center included three phases of development: an education facility, interpretive trails through native Blackland Prairie, and the creation of a raptor rehabilitation center.
Building Our Facility
Blackland Prairie Raptor Center and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are partnering to provide North Central Texas environmental education with an emphasis on birds of prey. The lease of Brockdale Park, 66 acres on the western shore of Lavon Lake near Lucas, provides public use space, native Blackland Prairie, ponds and shoreline to enhance the environmental education activities.
Phase one objectives included a facility to provide housing and care for our permanent non-releasable education birds, as well as buildings for offices and future rehabilitation. This was completed in 2009. With this in place, BPRC increased the capabilities to educate the public about the importance of raptors in our North Texas environment.
The second phase focused on education at the existing public use space and permanent trail development, with signage, through Blackland Prairie. The park allows BPRC to expand its interpretive capabilities through on-site programming for schools and organizations as well as increasing community access to the property for events.
Part of the second phase is the restoration and preservation of Blackland Prairie that sits in the middle of the property. This portion of prairie has not been disturbed in more than 70 years.
In 1900, there were more than 16 million acres of Blackland Prairie from San Antonio to the Red River. That total can be counted in thousands of acres in 2008. Blackland Prairie is considered the most endangered large ecosystem in North America according to The Nature Conservancy. BPRC is revitalizing this prairie and creating interpretive trails for the enjoyment and education of the public.
The third phase included a raptor rehabilitation center that was estimated to receive 500 sick, injured and orphaned birds of prey within the first few years of its completion – in its second year, BPRC receive 764 patients! Additionally, flight cages necessary for exercise were built to federal regulations. At this time, BPRC is the only facility in North Texas built to the specifications required for all species of birds of prey found in this area.