Q: What is being accomplished locally to help with plant conservation?
A: We are fortunate to live in a large metropolitan area that is also full of natures’ wild areas and plant habitats. Many state and national organizations including Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Center for Plant Conservation work together and with local groups such as Mercer Botanic Gardens and Katy Prairie Conservancy that focus on native plant conservation for our area.
Botanists and staff at these organizations work alongside and with the help of student interns, citizen scientists and volunteers to research and monitor wild plant populations, collect and protect plants in seed banks, and grow rare plants to re-introduce into native habitats.
Local conservation groups, including the Bayou Land Conservancy and Native Prairies Association of Texas, work in conjunction with landowners to protect plants in public parks, on private lands, along our waterways and coastline, and on the prairies and forests that surround our homes.
How can you help? Mercer Botanic Gardens offers volunteer opportunities working at wild plant preserves, propagating and nurturing rare Texas native plants, conducting research at Mercer’s herbarium, assisting with seed viability projects, and more. Anyone interested in helping with local conservation projects is encouraged to contact Mercer Botanic Gardens at hcp4.net/parks/mercer/volunteer.