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Community members, Plano Walking Club members and others gathered with The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. on Saturday, June 7 for a "Hike Across the Prairie" event to celebrate National Trails Day®. The event was held at Plano's Oak Point Park and Nature Preserve.

The group walked through paved areas of the park, observing native plants and wildlife, and also hiked through fields and forested areas, reading informational wayside signage created by the Conservancy to educate visitors about the area.

"This hike included a tour the Conservancy's informative wayside signage, which is located along the trails throughout the preserve and is available for everyone to enjoy," said The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. Co-Director Jeffrey Campbell of McKinney. "These signs tell the story of the native plants in the area, and also about the history of this Blackland Prairie, which included farming and pioneer life. Our route included views of the prairie, pecan trees, native wildflowers and grasses, Rowlett creek, a pond and more."

The educational hike led the group on a path throughout the nature preserve that was about five-and-a-half miles long.  The group talked about the early settlers who farmed in the region, the history of the blackland prairie and the native grasses and wildflowers that fill the area. Hikers also observed native wildlife including snakes, hawks, a nesting turtle and much more.

"We created our educational wayside signs as a way to make people aware of the history of this area," added The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation Board Member Candace Fountoulakis of Plano.  "This is a way for us to easily educate those who may be jogging or walking by.  This area is rich in history and has so many stories to tell."

The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc. plans to conduct additional educational hikes in the future, and plans to continue their community education efforts through placement of additional wayside signs at Oak Point Nature Preserve and at other areas of interest throughout the community.

About The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc:
The Plano Conservancy for Historic Preservation, Inc., a Texas corporation 501 (c)(3) non-profit, is an organization dedicated to promote civic pride in the past, to increase preservation awareness through education and public outreach, and to provide financial assistance to protect and preserve our heritage resources for this and future generations. For more information, please visit www.planoconservancy.org or call 972-941-2117.

About National Trails Day:
American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day® is a nationally recognized trail awareness program that occurs annually on the first Saturday of June and inspires the public to discover, learn about, and celebrate trails while participating in outdoor activities, clinics, and trail stewardship projects.  National Trails Day® is a registered trademark of American Hiking Society.

About the American Hiking Society:
Founded in 1976, American Hiking Society is the only national, recreation-based nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and protecting America’s hiking trails, their surrounding natural areas and the hiking experience.  To learn more about American Hiking Society and its mission and programs, visit www.AmericanHiking.org or call (301) 565-6704. 

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