Ashton Gardens Preserve was the first property Bayou Land Conservancy owned. The Ashton Gardens wedding venue donated the preserve to Bayou Land Conservancy in 2014 and desired it to permanently remain a nature preserve. Located on Cypress Creek west of Mercer Arboretum, the preserve is partially forested and home to native prairie grasses and wildflowers.
Ashton Gardens Preserve is an ideal location to learn about forested and prairie habitats, while remaining close to Houston. BLC is improving the habitat by removing harmful non-native plants and replacing them with beneficial native species. Non-native vegetation reduces the quality of wildlife habitats, and BLC’s restoration will promote Ashton Gardens’ natural diversity.
In Summer 2017, BLC began a native grassland restoration project, but the preserve was heavily impacted by Hurricane Harvey. The grassy flats were covered with over four feet of sand from Cypress Creek! This was a not-so-subtle reminder that our waterways are dynamic and landscapes can shift. BLC will restart the grassland restoration project in 2018 and continue to give our native plants, prairies, and pollinators a happy home!