Mockingbird Nature Park – Midlothian’s Hidden Gem
Indian Trail Chapter, Master Naturalists
Mockingbird Nature Park is located in Midlothian at the intersection of Mockingbird Road and Onward Road. It was donated to the City of Midlothian by the Holcium Corporation in 2008. It consists of 68 acres of prairie and riparian environments. There is a small, manmade seasonal lake in the park and a small seasonal creek in the wooded area.
The Indian Trail Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist program chose Mockingbird Nature Park to be one of our primary projects. Our mission is to provide service and education on preserving and protecting our native Texas environment for present and future generations. One of the first things we did at Mockingbird was to start a wildflower and butterfly garden near the front entrance. The garden attracts large numbers of Monarch, Queen, and other butterflies in the spring and fall. There may be 50 to 100 butterflies around the garden at any one time.
The City of Midlothian has allowed us to be partners with them in this wonderful little park. They have kept the trails mowed and accommodated us in so many ways. This park is an excellent example of Business, Government and volunteers working together. Mockingbird Nature Park has many important partners that work to make the park the gem that it is. The Cedar Hill Boy Scouts built a beautiful bird blind at the quarter-mile mark on the trail and we installed a bird bath in front of it to attract more birds. Users can view and identify many song birds from the bird blind. The Boy Scouts have also installed mileage markers and other signage on the trails. The local Girl Scouts built and installed Bluebird houses in the park. Many of the houses now have Bluebirds nesting in them. When you are out on the trails there is a good chance you will see the little bright blue guys. In addition to the wildflower and butterfly garden, the master naturalists have added charts and pamphlets to the bird blind, and built numerous benches for rest spots along the trails, and this year we have added native grass demonstration beds with grasses donated by yet another partner, John Snowden.
The Master Naturalists have held several nature hikes at the park. Last fall we hosted a night hike just after sunset. We got to experience the park after dark and discussed owls, bats and other fun natural nightlife. At Halloween we had several night hikes featuring the critters of the night. Owls, bats, and coyotes are night prowlers. A good time was had by all. In May and continuing through June this year we are having nature walks the first and third Monday of the month stating at 9 a.m. The spring wild flowers were spectacular and we have an increasing variety of songbirds in the park.
We urge you to come out and see this hidden gem. Walk the trails, observe the wildlife, view the wildflowers, this is your park. Do you think nature should be part of our everyday life, not just somewhere to go on the weekends? You are invited to attend our free, open-to-the-public, monthly program on the fourth Monday of the month at 7 pm at the Red Oak Library, 200 Lakeview Pkwy, Red Oak, TX. For more information on the Indian Trail Master Naturalist Chapter, contact the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service at 972-825-5175 or visit our website: https://txmn.org/indiantrail/.