Described as a “witty friend and a feisty protector of living things”, Ivy Payne wanted to protect her land and the wildlife habitat that it provided. She knew her property in Elkhart, Texas was something special, but she worried what would happen to the land once she was no longer around to take care of it. It was the late 1980s—the early days of land conservation in Texas—when Ivy decided to donate it to the recently formed Natural Area Preservation Association (NAPA), now the Texas Land Conservancy (TLC).
Her donation to TLC became Ivy Payne Preserve, the sixth and, at 465 acres, the largest property that TLC had protected up to that point. TLC was thrilled to accept the donation of this lovely property that so well represented the character and diversity of the East Texas Pineywoods. With already established trails, many of them arriving at the “teacup”, a waterfall on Spring Branch creek, this preserve was a perfect place for visitors to experience the beauty of East Texas nature.