The communications office of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin provides media with timely, accurate information about the Wildflower Center. Below are recent press releases related to Center events and to staff expertise on conservation practices, native plant gardening, nature education, and native plant resources and research findings. For more information or photos beyond those on the newsroom site, please contact:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2010
Gardeners and others throughout Texas can help the state’s iconic landscapes this fall by participating in Texas Native Plant Week activities Oct. 18-24.
The awareness week is sponsored by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin, the National Wildlife Federation, Texas Parks and Wildlife and the City of Austin. The slogan for the week, which occurs during the fall planting season, is “Proud Texans Plant Texas Natives.” Among the week’s statewide activities are the unveiling of a Web site developed by the National Wildlife Federation on the week’s events and native plant resources, educational talks and opportunities to volunteer to help preserve native plants.
To celebrate wildflowers and other native plants that Texans cherish, Houston residents can participate in restoring a native prairie, and visitors to the State Fair can ask Dallas master naturalists about a garden they developed on site. Activities elsewhere include tours that cover the desert gardens at El Paso’s Museum of Archeology, an online program for Central Texas residents to help count area trees and native plant sales in San Antonio where participants can claim their beauty for their own home landscapes.
Austin area residents can celebrate Texas Native Plant Week by helping conduct a survey of local trees, attending expert talks and more:
- Help count Austin-area trees at: http://www.treeroundup.org/participate//index.php
- Hear native plant talks by experts at local REI stores from 7 to 8:30 p.m: Alice Nance from Austin Parks & Recreation Department will speak Tuesday, Oct. 19, at the Downtown REI, 601 N. Lamar Blvd.; Kelly Bender from Texas Parks & Wildlife Department will also speak that night at the Round Rock REI , 201 University Oaks Blvd.; and Andrea DeLong-Amaya, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, will speak Wednesday, Oct. 20., at the Gateway REI, 9901 North Capital of Texas Highway.
- Beef up your knowledge of hardy native plants for Austin, and see Austin-related information at: http://www.wildflower.org/nativeweek/ or http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/greengarden/plantweek.htm
- Visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, http://www.wildflower.org/visit, to see native plants in formal and informal garden settings, and look for native trees at The University of Texas at Austin: http://www.wildflower.org/collections/collection.php?collection=utexas.
More details about these activities, expert talks and lists of reliable native plants to use in yards are among the offerings in the “Urban Events and Native Info” section of the Web site for Texas Native Plant Week, developed with input from awareness week partners: http://txnativeplantweek.wordpress.com/.
The site also includes resources for finding suppliers of native plants and seeds, articles about Rio Grande reforestation activities and other topics and information about how to tell if a plant in your area is an aggressive, non-native one that competes with native plants for resources.
Native trees, shrubs, wildflowers, vines and grasses are often hardier than non-native plants since they are adapted to the soils and conditions of Texas. Native plants also are better able to provide food and shelter to beneficial wildlife, such as songbirds and butterflies. Yet they typically require less water, chemicals and labor to maintain. Moreover, native plants provide the state’s regional landscapes with their unique identities.
Recognizing the importance of public support for native plants’ survival, Texas Native Plant Week began as a partnership in 2009 between the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the City of Austin, the office of state Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin), and the Native Plant Society of Texas. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the National Wildlife Federation became awareness week partners this year with the City of Austin and the Wildflower Center.