I20 Wildlife Preserve
The I20 Wildlife Preserve is a 100-acre upland forest campus in Midland, Texas. It is a wild space – not a park – managed by a nonprofit organization. The 86-acre urban playa lake is the highlight of the wetlands, floodplain thickets, and prairie grasslands – providing abundant avian, wildlife, and aquatic habitat. As one of the few urban playas protected in its natural state, the preserve is a treasured ecotourism destination of regional significance and a scientific-educational resource of the Permian Basin.
The Preserve's freshwater aquatic biome is abundant and plays host to a diversity of species. Pocket gophers and rabbits often tunnel through the plants at the water’s edge. Osprey and kingfisher dive for fish. Flycatchers and dragonflies capture insects over the heads of sandpipers, egrets, and other shoreline-wading birds. Larger mammals found to patrol the playa's marshes include raccoon, porcupine, fox, and bobcat. Amphibians like frogs and salamanders, and reptiles such as turtles, lizards, and snakes are also commonly observed.
86-ACRE URBAN PLAYA
A playa lake is a very specific type of wetland in the southern high plains; shallow, round, and most importantly ephemeral. The urban playa of the I20 Wildlife Preserve, with its surrounding feral forest, prairie grasses, and ponds is a rich center for biodiversity.
Our holistic land management practice seeks to conserve the vibrant nature of the urban playa environment. Careful removal of invasive plant species opens the watershed to a greater biodiversity of aquatic and avian wildlife, fortifies the ecological integrity of native plants and animals, and maintains the wild space for future generations to enjoy.