Q: How can we celebrate the outdoors at Thanksgiving?

A: Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to celebrate all that is good for ourselves, our families and our loved ones. It is also an excellent opportunity to give thanks for the gardening and nature efforts in our communities that help protect the small world we all share!

Multitudes of city and county parks keep our region green year-round and provide hundreds of miles of hike and bike trails surrounding our neighborhoods, bayous and waterways. Our lakes and creeks are also fun to visit in canoes and kayaks.

Abundant opportunities are available throughout the year for plant and nature education. The North American Prairie Conference, promoting healthy prairies and watersheds, and the Native Plant Society of Texas’ fall symposium were both held in Houston this year and the latter keeps gardeners advised with a full calendar of plant-related happenings in the region at npsot.org/wp/houston/events-info/big-list-native-plant-environmental-events.

Our area is also home to plentiful plant and tree sales, allowing visitors to enjoy nature at home. The Kingwood Garden Club holds its annual Re-forest the Forest tree sale in the fall, and Urban Harvest holds an early spring tree sale featuring edibles. Mercer Botanic Gardens holds monthly specialty plant sales, including the fall Pollinator Festival, which features native pollinator plants, and March Mart, which carries a wide assortment of garden options.

This Thanksgiving list could go on and on. There is always something to be thankful for when you are gardening or enjoying the outdoors!

Suzzanne Chapman
Author: Suzzanne ChapmanEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Suzzanne Chapman is the botanical collections curator at Mercer Botanic Gardens and promotes organic gardening, growing native plants, and protecting the environment. Send your questions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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