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NATIVE DEMONSTRATION GARDENS Kathy Henderson, Williamson County Chapter Presented at NPSOT State Board Meeting - April 19, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "NATIVE DEMONSTRATION GARDENS Kathy Henderson, Williamson County Chapter Presented at NPSOT State Board Meeting - April 19, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 NATIVE DEMONSTRATION GARDENS Kathy Henderson, Williamson County Chapter Presented at NPSOT State Board Meeting - April 19, 2014

2 OBJECTIVES  What is a Native Demonstration Garden?  Why have one?  First project: Georgetown Library  Second project: Williamson County Landfill  Results achieved

3 WHAT IS A DEMONSTRATION GARDEN?  A designed landscape containing natives and (optionally) well-adapted non-natives.  Located in a very public place  With a message to all:  Good aesthetics  Low water usage  Specialty purposes (butterflies, pollinators, etc.)  Importance of proper maintenance  “Native plants = healthy habitats”

4 WHY HAVE ONE?  Texas is growing rapidly;  Habitat destruction continues  Our water supply is at risk  Demonstration gardens can impact policy makers and the public  We need to “get the word out” more efficiently  A public initiative with a lot of leverage

5 GEORGETOWN LIBRARY – HISTORY  Two demo gardens at old Georgetown Library  First tried a wildscape – not good  Second a managed garden - very successful  Chapter did all the maintenance  Library moved to new building  Maintenance handed to city and contractor with written instructions  Unsatisfactory results Agnes Plutino

6 GEORGETOWN LIBRARY – HISTORY II  New library in 2008  Contract designer – African iris, Crepe Myrtle, “row crops”.  2014 Water Reduction initiative by City – an opportunity  City asked for a new native landscape  Collaborative effort  City  NPSOT  Master Naturalists  Another chance to educate and influence Marilyn Perz Diane Sherrill

7 Kathy Henderson Marilyn Perz

8 WILLIAMSON COUNTY LANDFILL ENTRANCE – POLLINATOR GARDEN  Landfill owned by County  Operated by contractor  Started Gateway project  Hired landscape designer  Beach Vitex, Chinese Pistache, Crepe Myrtle, etc.  Operator asked Master Naturalists about a pollinator garden  NPSOT invited to collaborate  A chance to influence and educate Marilyn Perz

9 WILLIAMSON COUNTY LANDFILL ENTRANCE  Started by planting wildflower garden  Began education about non-natives, invasives, and habitats  Began suggesting alternatives  Butterflies and hummingbirds started arriving Marilyn Perz

10 WILLIAMSON COUNTY LANDFILL ENTRANCE  Wildflower garden growing  Permission to start replacing Vitex  NPSOT/Master Naturalist work sessions  Materials and “heavy lifting” furnished and paid for by landfill operator  Summer open house  Public  County commissioner  New Agri-Life agent  Growing cooperation and education Marilyn Perz

11 WILLIAMSON COUNTY LANDFILL ENTRANCE  Installed rainwater collection system  Obtained TP&WD Wildlife Habitat and Monarch Waystation certifications  Landfill operator decided to remove balance of invasives  Replacing with appropriate natives  Continuing influence and collaboration Marilyn Perz Dennis Perz

12 SO WHY DO THIS? Aesthetics Drought tolerance Reduced water usage No invasives Birds and butterflies Healthy habitats Collaborations City/County Master Naturalists Others Side-by-side comparisons Proper maintenance Design Plant selection Maintenance Mulch/weed Watering Trimming by season Natives the better choice Teach “native competent” maintenance Leverage our knowledge and experience Demonstrate Gain Influence Build Credibility Educate Broadly


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