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Updated: Aug 4, 2021

Some places are just made for ducks. Since the late 1800’s, the name Bois d’arc island has been revered as legendary by waterfowl hunters throughout Texas and beyond.

We feel so fortunate for the opportunity to write a chapter in this story. To make our mark on a piece of land with such a rich history. Cottonwood is a recently acquired Nature’s Eye NRI property made up of several tracts that lie on the area of land historically known as “Bois d’arc Island” in Dallas County, Texas.

This “island” was created by the meandering of the Trinity RIver, which is the longest river with a watershed contained entirely within the state of Texas. The area of land that held the river’s original course became known as Parson’s Slough. The natural formation of this piece of ground between the old and new riverbed created ideal wildlife habitat for a myriad of species, and was often referred to as a natural “game preserve” in the late 1800s. It is ideally situated to attract waterfowl, and at the time was a legendary destination for duck hunters. In the early 1900s, efforts were made to make the Trinity River navigable for trade and industrial transport. A lock and dam system was planned and construction put underway, but the project was eventually abandoned. Many of the unfinished lock and dam structures still remain, decaying slowly with time. Around 1910, land use for much of the area was transitioned to agriculture. Decades later, parts of the area were mined for gravel. In more recent history, while some sections have remained in corn and soybean production, most of this land has been forgotten and neglected. The ground that was once river bottom is now fertile fields yielding crop production and supplementing the surrounding wildlife habitat. Over the course of time, mother nature is restoring the gravel pits into lakes that host an abundance of fish and waterfowl. The lake edges have been naturally reclaimed by trees and other vegetative growth, ultimately restoring a historic ecosystem. The abundance of Eastern cottonwood (Populus deltoides) trees throughout the landscape inspired the property name.

Over the years, humans have had as much a role in molding this land as the Trinity. Some intense development, a myriad of different land uses, and a period of dormancy have all transformed this property to something barely recognizable from its wilder days. Nevertheless, one thing has remained constant: the ducks. They were hunted here over a century ago, and to this day they arrive in droves. With the logo we designed for this property, we attempted to represent the fullness of its history, and our vision for its future. The mallard curl within the Nature’s Eye acorn represents our hope to maintain and improve this exceptional waterfowl habitat; our efforts to work with the existing landscape; and our resolve to perpetuate the natural legacy and hunting tradition of this land.

Follow the story on Instagram @nri_cottonwood and Facebook NRI Cottonwood

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