The KNG Ranch which includes part of the Columbia Bottomlands and other remnant prairies, wetlands and oak savannahs is named for Kittie Nash Groce who inherited the ranch from her parents, William and Ian Nash. Under Kittie Nash Groce, the ranch prospered and grew to 15,000 acres. When Kittie died in 1957, she left the ranch to a series of heirs, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, and the West Columbia Hospital District Trustees. After the death of the last of the heirs in 2006, the KNG Ranch reverted to St. Mary’s and the Trustees who shared ownership equally. The Diocese of Texas actually owns the property on behalf of St. Mary’s. The ranch is located on County Road 25, 70 miles southwest of Houston, with parts of the property being leased by several farmers and ranchers.
At the time St. Mary’s inherited the KNG Ranch, there were 300 acres known as the hay meadow or Nash Prairie, a rare pristine prairie which had never been grazed or plowed. It is one of the largest examples of native coastal prairies still in excellent condition and is home to over 300 different species of plants, several of which were thought to be extinct. In 2011, 400 acres of the KNG Ranch, which included the Nash Prairie, were sold to the Nature Conservancy, thus guaranteeing the preservation of this natural treasure.
To learn more about the Nash Prairie check out these links.