Smoke, Fire, and the Southern Post Oak Savanna

"Historically, a blanket of bison covered the savanna landscape of southeast Texas.  Large herds consumed vast quantities of grasses and their hooves disturbed the soil, and dispersed seed.  Though the grazing was intense, the bison moved, allowing the savanna time to recover.

Fires regularly spread through the savanna.  These fires were typically very large and continued until stopped by a change in topography or storms smothered them. These fires stimulated growth of the grasses and forbs, suppressed invading woody plants and ultimately contributed to the incredible species diversity of the grasslands." (Houston Wilderness)

Read More

Revisiting Dallas History: Deep Ellum Before the Highways

As part of our office’s Second Nature Initiative, we’re refocusing on our neighborhood of Deep Ellum to discover potential future opportunities to preserve the neighborhood’s unique character and provide a toolbox of potential opportunities for future development in the area. As part of that study, I was challenged with investigating the historical context of the area, tasked with responding to questions on the neighborhood’s original street layout, the role that Deep Ellum (or Deep Elm as it was originally called) played in the overall context of the city, and looking at dramatic changes to the built fabric of the place that have occurred throughout its history.

Read More