Boy Scouts Troop 577 with master naturalist Marcie Haley, president of Twelve Hills Nature Center.

Our neighborhood’s 5 acres of nature received some help from Boy Scouts recently.

A group of 10 scouts and five adults spent a weekend clearing invasive grasses at Twelve Hills Nature Center, including Johnson, Bermuda and Chinese Privet, hauling away 21 contractor bags full of the unwanted vegetation.

Besides that, they planted native Texas grasses and wildflowers, including little bluestem, Indian grass, prairie dalea, sideoats grama, snow on the prairie, Texas sage, Texas grama and Texas ironweed

Spencer Burke, a 15-year-old sophomore at St. Mark’s School of Texas, organized the work weekend with his Boy Scouts troop, 577.

We know and love Twelve Hills as a park, but it also has an educational component. Twelve Hills volunteers are working to turn the park into a blackland prairie remnant. Blackland prairie is what the ecosystem of Dallas was before it was developed. Only 5,000 of Texas’ original 12 million acres of blackland prairie is left.

“This is the first step in actually restoring the blackland rairie back to its natural state,” Burke says. “And I can’t wait to return in the spring and see the results of our hard work.”