On July 25, 1983, Otto “Chick” Consolvo led a determined group of local citizens to purchase The Flower Mound, a rare and pristine 12.5-acre native Tall Grass Prairie segment of the Great American Black Land Prairie. Here is his story:
At age 17, Velma Maxine Allen, a full-blooded Cherokee, sported the nickname “Babe” when she met a 19-year-old boy named Otto “Chick” Consolvo near Tulsa, OK. As their relationship developed, Otto invited Babe to join him for a special treat at the local ice cream parlor. In that year, 1920, high shipping costs increased the price of ice cream delivered to the oil fields of Oklahoma to nearly four dollars a serving. By selecting an ice cream parlor over a 25-cent ticket at the movie theater, Otto clearly wanted to impress his date.
Testing his interest and commitment, Babe ordered an expensive banana split. As Otto sat back confidently, Babe worried her date might not have the money to cover the bill. Then Babe revealed to Otto she had another suitor who had recently asked for her hand in marriage. She flirted with Otto telling him she just could not decide between the other man or him. She even joked she would probably just marry the first one of them to get a marriage license. Otto Consolvo calmly reached into his pocket pulled out a marriage license and enough cash to pay for the ice cream. Shortly thereafter, he married Babe.
When Otto’s marble and tile business brought them to Dallas, the young couple relocated to Flower Mound. Babe loved nature and the land. Over the years, she and Otto enjoyed riding their horses from their home to the summit of The Flower Mound. There they would picnic among the flowers and take in panoramic views of their natural surroundings. Both Babe and Otto developed a deep personal connection with the beauty of their community’s native wildflowers and grasses, the spirit of the historic landscape and The Flower Mound in particular.
After Babe died in 1982, Otto worked tirelessly to protect The Flower Mound, one of their favorite natural places from commercial development.
On July 25, 1983, Consolvo led a determined group of local citizens to meet with a New Mexico land developer, Bellemah Corporation, and purchase The Flower Mound, the rare and pristine 12.5-acre native Tall Grass Prairie segment of the Great American Black Land Prairie.
On August 11, 1983, Consolvo placed the site under permanent land conservancy protection and formed The Mound Corporation, which evolved into the Flower Mound Foundation, to oversee its ongoing preservation and care.
In 1984, The Texas Historical Commission designated The Flower Mound as a Texas Historical Site. When Otto Consolvo passed away in 1985, he left as his legacy the perpetual conservation of The Flower Mound for all its citizens and his beloved wife, Babe.
Today, Red Tailed and Harrier Hawks fly swooping circles high above the Mound as if Babe and Otto Consolvo have come together once again in the heavens above to continue their journeys to the summit where they can keep a watchful eye over The Flower Mound. (Adapted from the book “Sweet Flower Mound Land”, edited by Elwood Ross.)
Do you have a favorite natural place in Flower Mound or the surrounding North Texas area? Tell us about it. Share your feelings and photos. Let us know about the places you feel make your town naturally beautiful.
Submit your photos and 300-500 word stories by December 31, 2012 to The Flower Mound Foundation, PO Box 270821, Flower Mound, TX 75027.
During 2013, the Foundation will display the best entries as part of the 30th Anniversary celebration of the wildflowers, grasses and character of our favorite natural place, a 12.5 acre pristine native prairie preserve known as The Flower Mound.
The Flower Mound Foundation, a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization responsible for maintaining the original character of The Flower Mound, will host several 30th Anniversary events throughout next year.
The Foundation’s nine member Board of Trustees actively promotes and encourages the site’s educational, scientific and historical interests on behalf of the citizens of Flower Mound.
Plans are now underway for an Easter Sunday Sunrise Service on March 31, 2013; A Mother’s Day Weekend Wildflower Walk on May 11, 2013; the 30th anniversary of The Flower Mound’s acquisition on July 25, 2013 and the 30th anniversary of The Flower Mound Foundation’s formation by Otto Consolvo on August 11, 2013.
Visit www.flower-mound.com or call 817-430-1976 to learn more about The Flower Mound Foundation.