Roy Creek camp above waterfall with creek.
The Wildflower Center takes a multi-pronged approach to address specific plant conservation threats such as the harm caused by invasive species and the need to protect plants of conservation concern. Through partnerships, information sharing, seed collection and banking, rare plant monitoring and research, botanical expertise and novel citizen science-based approaches, the Wildflower Center has become a recognized leader in plant conservation in the state of Texas.
The Wildflower Center’s conservation staff works with partners and stakeholders to address the most pressing plant conservation needs in Texas. These needs include:
- Leadership and coordination,
- Rare plant and invasive species monitoring and research,
- Collecting and banking seeds for conservation and restoration,
- Comprehensive documentation and mapping of the state’s flora,
- Dissemination of information,
- Developing a network of citizen scientists to monitor invasive species and rare plants and, most importantly,
- Educating landowners and the public about the importance of conserving Texas’ natural heritage and biodiversity.
Over the last two decades, the Wildflower Center has developed core strengths to address these needs including developing botanical expertise, public and private partnerships, model citizen science programs and a state of the art seed storage lab. In many ways, the Wildflower Center has become a cornerstone of plant conservation activities in Texas.
Botanical ExpertiseThe United States will lose nearly half of its workforce with botanical expertise within the next decade. As botanical capacity declines, so, too, does our ability to conserve and protect endangered and threatened species and control invasive species. The Wildflower Center’s plant conservation team has extensive knowledge of native ecosystems and landscapes and conservation issues in Texas. This botanical expertise has enabled the Wildflower Center to become a leader in native plant research, conservation and education and to understand and meet the state’s conservation needs.
Public and Private PartnershipsAccess to land is a serious impediment to plant conservation in Texas where 96 percent of the property is in private hands. Diligent attention to building relationships with private landowners and public land stewards has given the Wildflower Center unprecedented access to nearly 2 million acres of private and public lands throughout Texas. While single-species protection is still the prevailing conservation strategy, reintroduction of rare and endangered species back into the wild is the new frontier in plant conservation. Texas landowners play a critical role in in making this effort a success.
Our partners include federal and state conservation agencies including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Texas A&M Forest Service and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. We collaborate with the Center for Plant Conservation, Seeds of Success and the Texas Native Plant Conservation Alliance to address the conservation of rare, endangered and keystone plant species. We work in partnership with willing land owners to inventory endemic plants and plant communities on their properties.