Arlington’s O.S. Gray Natural Area Marks 10-Year Anniversary
By Friends of the O.S. Gray Natural Area
Posted on October 05, 2020, October 05, 2020

O.S. Gray Natural Area

Friends of the O.S. Gray Natural Area this month are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of this natural oasis in the heart of Arlington.

At the urging of members of the surrounding community, the City of Arlington acquired the former O.S. Gray Nursery in 1997 to preserve this oasis of nature in the heart of the city. The O.S. Gray Natural Area, a 20-acre neighborhood park located at 2021 W. Abram Street, is named for Oscar Somers Gray, Sr. He was a renowned horticulturist whose family operated a pecan nursery at this site for nearly 50 years, from the 1930s to the 1980s.

The City also acquired the western portion of the O.S. Gray Natural Area from the Rosser Family. This property includes an old growth post oak forest as well as a meadow area that the City formally designated as "Rosser's Meadow and Woodland" in November 2011. These two properties, with very different land management histories, combine to make up the O.S. Gray Natural Area.

The natural area celebrated its formal inauguration as a community natural resource when it was dedicated on Oct. 2, 2010. That is also the founding date of the Friends of O.S. Gray Natural Area, a group of volunteers organized for the purpose of helping with the maintenance and enhancement of biodiversity within the natural area.

The Friends, along with the Arlington Parks & Recreation Department, volunteers from local churches, Arlington ISD schools, The University of Texas at Arlington, Texas Master Naturalists, Girl and Boy Scouts and Arlington residents, have worked over the past decade to help manage the natural area.

The Friends have engaged in projects designed to manage and enhance the native vegetation in the park and the group’s goal over the next decade is to continue work to enhance and manage this oasis of nature for all residents of Arlington to enjoy.

Friends of O.S. Gray Natural Area management and enhancement projects include:

  • Park cleanups
  • Building and maintaining pollinator gardens
  • Creating and maintaining mulched trails in the western portions of the natural area
  • Removing privet and other invasive plant species
  • Restoring wildflowers and other native vegetation in Rosser’s Meadow on the west end of the natural area.
  • Creating information signs throughout the park
  • Installing park benches
  • Hosting events, such as star gazing parties, Chalk the Walk sidewalk chart art contest and guided birdwatching tours, to introduce the natural area to the community.
Champion Great Neighborhoods, O.S. Gray Natural Area
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