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PRAIRIE POCKET

While there are vast, ocean-like prairies found in nature, like the Blackland Prairie south of Austin or the short grass prairies of the Texas High Plains, a prairie pocket is more like a sample of these ecological characteristics packaged to fit within the urban matrix.  A clearing where vegetation prevails over aggregates, and little or no shade can be found throughout the day can be described as a pocket prairie.

ECOLOGY NOTEBOOK: PRAIRIE POCKET
where buffalo roamed

The immense expanse of open prairie has been reduced and fragmented due to urban + agricultural expansion.  Small patches of prairie can help the wide variety of plant + animal species to hold on in our dynamic modern world.

a.k.a.

In a certain way, a common lawn is a simplified prairie pocket, although usually a monoculture.  Here are some other terms that apply: 

  • meadow
  • pasture
  • grassland
  • tapis vert
  • wildflower patch

DESIGN SUPPORT

This ecological condition may see shading structures or tree cover to the north, but is generally open to the south.  A gentle slope in any direction fits the description as long as the ground plane is configured more for infiltration of stormwater, and less for concentrated run-off.  These sunny, productive areas can provide for a rich collection of grasses, wildflowers, with few trees, and typify the urban pocket prairie.

REGIONAL ASSOCIATION