Spring Creek Forest Preserve Induction into the National Old-Growth Forest Network

Date: Saturday, February 24, 2024

Time 1:00 – 1:45 p.m.

Location: 1770 Holford Road


This event was a first-of-its-kind distinction. Representatives from the Old-Growth Forest Network (OGFN) officially inducted the Spring Creek Forest Preserve into the national network which celebrates our oldest protected and publicly accessible forests. In the photo above, Liz Worsham, from OGFN presents the Certificate of Registration to Society president David Parrish, while Garland Mayor Scott LeMay and Dallas County Commissioner Theresa Daniel’s administrative aide Erin Moore both look on.

Photo by Vince Hale


          The induction ceremony was followed by a nature walk to see the Trout lilies and other parts of our magnificent forest. Over 200 nature enthusiasts strolled through the forest to stop at several stations where regional experts spoke about the importance of that aspect of the forest – trout lilies, old growth trees, the creek, invasive plants, and birds in the meadow.

Spring Creek Forest Preserve is the first forest in Dallas County to be included in the OGFN and only the second in Texas. OGFN is a nonprofit working to connect people with nature by creating a national network of protected, publicly accessible forests and a network of people to protect them. According to OGFN, “It is our turn to do what we can for those who will come after us and save the remnant old-growth (or future old-growth) forests across the country.”

“The Preservation Society for Spring Creek Forest is pleased to see the multi-decade collaborative efforts of the City of Garland and Dallas County, along with researchers and students, non-profits, and local naturalists to study and protect the forest and prairies of Spring Creek Forest Preserve, have resulted in the Spring Creek Forest Preserve-Spring Creek Greenbelt being officially designated as a part of the Old-Growth Forest Network”, said David Parrish, President of the Preservation Society for Spring Creek Forest.


David Parrish and Tom Frey speaking at the OGFN ceremony. Photos by Vince Hale


Spring Creek Forest Preserve contains old-growth hardwood bottomland forest and native prairie areas along Spring Creek which are a haven of towering trees and unusual wildflowers. Scientists, conservationists, and naturalists have studied this forest community and determined it is one the few remaining old growth forests in the Blackland Prairie eco-zone of north central Texas. The Spring Creek Forest Preserve is protected as a biological treasure used for scientific studies and natural enjoyment.

The Preserve consists of three parcels of land totaling about 102 acres of the larger Spring Creek Greenbelt. Old growth forest coverage varies from one third to two thirds of each tract with the balance in regenerating forest and prairie grass communities.

Nick Sanchez, Network Manager for OGFN remarks, “We’re honored to recognize this forest and the critical partnerships between Dallas County, City of Garland, The Preservation Society for Spring Creek Forest and the many individuals who continue to work hard to protect, care for and educate about this special place.”

Spring Creek Forest Preserve will join Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge as one of only two OGFN forests in Texas to date. Out of 254 counties in Texas, roughly 119 are considered capable of supporting forests, based on the U.S. Forest Service map.

Working with volunteers across the United States, OGFN’s goal is to identify and ensure the preservation and recognition of at least one forest in every county in the United States that can sustain a forest, and thereby celebrate our nation’s oldest forests. Founded in 2012 by Dr. Joan Maloof, OGFN has recognized more than 200 forests in 36 states. A full list and map of OGFN Network forests may be viewed at www.oldgrowthforest.net.