Ellis County historic rural site plans demonstration area for native plants, will invite kids to plant seeds
The Ellis County Rural Heritage Farm will be looking, and probably even smelling, more nice and flowery next year thanks to funding from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.
The historic farm announced Friday that it has received a $500 grant from the center in Austin. The grant will be used to purchase wildflower and native grass seed from the Native American Seed Company to be planted in a demonstration area on the property.
“The Farm looks forward to engaging partners and particularly youth in preparing and distributing seed balls in the approximately 2-acre demonstration site at the Farm,” said Lu Ann Aday, president of the Ellis County Rural Heritage Farm board of directors. “The project is intended to help students and youth learn more about growing native seeds and native plants and pollination through engaging in a fun Seed Ball Activity.”
Ginger Cole, a Heritage Farm board member, submitted the successful application for the award and will oversee the project on behalf of the farm.
As a Seed Grant recipient, the farm is required to submit a project report within one year of the date of the award, including before and after color pictures of the planting area. The grant stipulates that children, if possible, should be involved with the implementation and development of the project.
Aday said the farm has partnered with the Indian Trail Chapter of the Master Naturalists and area Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts for projects at the farm, including a Prairie Wildlife and Wildflower Adventure the last Sunday in April and Farm Heritage Day the last Sunday in September. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic, these events were virtual only in 2020 and 2021.
The 145-acre Heritage Farm is located at 130 Cunningham Meadows Road, just south of FM 66 and west of Waxahachie. It is the remnant of the Marvin W. and Mattie F. Aday Family Farm, the majority of which was obtained for the aborted Superconducting Super Collider Project in the early 1990s. A fully-restored 1913 farmhouse is the centerpiece of the property.
The mission of the farm is to preserve and to promote public awareness and appreciation of the natural and farming heritage of rural Ellis County.
In 2017, the Ellis County Rural Heritage Farm was created in a collaboration between Lu Ann Aday, the property owner, and the Ellis County Museum. The farm is a 501c3 non-profit organization separate from the Ellis County Museum, but the two organizations work closely together.