HOUSTON – The Katy Prairie Conservancy is now the Coastal Prairie Conservancy. The new name was made public in a surprise announcement on the night of May 4 during its 2022 Bash: Here We Grow Again by Board Chairman Darryl Anderson. Hundreds of guests at the Bash applauded the news and agreed that the new name captures the growth of KPC’s original mission – to sustain a resilient Texas by preserving coastal prairies, wetlands, farms, and ranches.
“We look at our name change as a more accurate depiction of where we are today and where we want to be tomorrow,” says Mary Anne Piacentini, president and CEO of the Coastal Prairie Conservancy. “Coastal Prairie Conservancy better reflects the expansion of our mission. While the Katy Prairie is still a critical part of our DNA and we will continue to find ways to expand the Katy Prairie Preserve, the success of our endeavors during the past 30 years means we’ve greatly expanded the area that we now preserve for Texans. Between our acquisitions and our partnerships, we stretch from Katy to the Gulf Coast.”
“Coastal Prairie” signifies the broader, regional reach of the organization, which remains committed to land conservation and stewardship. This includes the Katy Prairie, along with protected lands in nine counties, including Austin, Brazoria, Colorado, Fort Bend, Harris, Jackson, Matagorda, Waller, and Wharton. The Coastal Prairie Conservancy currently protects more than 30,000 acres of land throughout the region.
The Coastal Prairie Conservancy is proud of its consevation work and all the ways these lands benefit Texas communities. Prairie grasses absorb and hold back floodwaters while sequestering carbon. Wetlands protect our water quality and quantity. Open and connected spaces help maintain the biodiversity of the coastal prairie and provide homes for wildlife. By keeping portions of the preserves in working lands, the organization is also helping preserve a way of life for farmers and ranchers. Many of these lands offer important recreational opportunities and boost nature tourism as well as impact our local economy by increasing neighboring property values and providing a cost-effective solution for flood damage reduction.
Piacentini notes that all the Katy Prairie Conservancy staff members will retain their current positions with the Coastal Prairie Conservancy. “We will continue to focus on land conservation and prairie restoration to ensure that current and future protected lands are safeguarded for people and wildlife. Our education, outreach, and programming, in which we connect adults and children to the prairie, remain a vital part of who we are. You can still enjoy our Unplugged Adventures, Preserve Stewards Volunteer Days, and so much more.”
The Coastal Prairie Conservancy will continue to acquire land through purchases and donated properties, including conservation easements. Earlier this year, the land trust announced the preservation of nearly 965 acres of additional land for two important land conservation projects, one in Waller County and one in Matagorda County, which will be protected from any future commercial development. Last September, the organization received a $2 million grant for the permanent preservation of a 2,433-acre ranch in Jackson County with a conservation easement for wetlands conservation as well as the donation of land on two additional properties.
“We look forward to working with other organizations and our constituents on protecting the coastal prairie for generations to come,” says Piacentini. “Conserving these lands for people, plants, and animals is critical to a healthy and thriving eocsystem. We look forward to seeing you out on the coastal prairie.”
Check us out at coastalprairieconservancy.org and @coastalprairieconservancy on Facebook and Instagram.