More Than a BattlefieldPalo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park was created to recognize an important historical event, but it also protects many natural resources. Park boundaries are drawn around more than 3,400 acres of undeveloped land. The park contains an abundance of plant and animal life—including many species unique to the U.S-Mexico border region.
The park's defining feature is the broad coastal prairie—scene of the first battle of the U.S.- Mexican War. Clumps of razor-sharp cord grass and other low-lying grasses and flowers cover this coastal plain. It stretches to the east for miles toward the Gulf of Mexico. It is interrupted only by scattered trees, yuccas, and prickly-pear cactus.