Archive for June, 2016


A WaterSmart yard utilizes plants and practices that require less water plus little or no fertilizers and pesticides. With minimal grass cover and maximum use of native and adapted plants, the WaterSmart landscape is beautiful and easy to maintain and environmentally friendly. WaterSmart practices are also a great way to attract butterflies, pollinators and other organisms to your yard.

Butterflies are not only beautiful to look at but they also pollinate your flowers. Attracting butterflies requires providing the right plants for all life stages of the butterfly, from a place to lay their eggs, to food for the caterpillar, a place to form the chrysalides and a food source for the adult butterfly. A great plant choice is milkweed, which can sustain the entire life cycle of Monarch butterflies.

Adding watersmart native plants to your yard is a great place to start. Plant butterfly attracting plants such as milkweed, butterfly bush and purple coneflower. Make sure the plants are located in a sunny spot. Plan for continuous blooms through the growing season and you will be rewarded with butterflies from early spring till late fall.

Remember, don’t use pesticides around your butterfly garden. Most traditional pesticides are toxic to butterflies. Pesticides can also kill off food sources for wildlife. Having native plants in your yard helps take care of any potential insect problem since it promotes habitat for the beneficial insects.

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Saturday, June 18 and Saturday, June 25 from 9 am to noon, adults and kids ages 12 and up are invited to help plant a stormwater wetland for the new lake at Exploration Green. The Texas Coastal Watershed Program will coordinate the installation of native wetlands plants cultivated in the on-site nursery at Exploration Green. Enter the park at the bridge at 1800 Reseda. Tools will be provided and volunteers should be prepared to get wet and dirty!

Located on 200 acres of natural beauty, Exploration Green will feature a series of five connected finger lakes, 12 miles of hike-and-bike trails, safe play areas, multi-use athletic fields and inspiring gathering spaces. Complementing these amenities will be water-cleansing stormwater wetland areas; habitat islands for indigenous wildlife, including resident and migrating birds, amphibians and butterflies; and a reforested, more natural environment for native grasses, flowers and trees.

For more information about volunteering for this event, contact mcedwards@tamu.edu

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