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2018 NRCS Texas Urban Conservation Projects

Urban Conservation Projects

Auburn University - Community Crops Garden for Healthier Food Futures in San Elizario, Texas

An unused park in one of the poorest neighborhoods in San Elizario will be converted into an urban crop garden that features new practices in composting urban food waste, harvesting seasonal rains for irrigating crops and designing native plantings that feed people and pollinators.

Austin Community College District – Pollinator Gardens

The purpose of this project is to create a Monarch Butterfly District with the goal of becoming certified Monarch Waystations through the Monarch Watch organization.  A series of pollinator gardens will be established in the Eastview, Elgin, Hays, and Round Rock campuses. The goals for this project are to educate and engage students, staff, faculty and community members to understand the importance of the monarch initiative, and beautify the campuses to provide a peaceful place for gathering among plants and butterflies. The Monarch gardens will be incorporated into educational experiences for students, faculty, and the public, and instructors will be encouraged to incorporate the gardens into courses as possible. 

Bastrop County Soil and Water Conservation District - Cedar Creek Park Monarch Way Station – Bastrop, Texas

It is the NRCS goal to create a certified Monarch Waystation as focal area to draw the public into the park by creating a beautiful space for humans and nature.  NRCS estimates that a total of 30 leadership community volunteers will participate in this project and includes installation of water pipes by Bastrop County valued at an estimated cost of $1,700. 

Blanco Middle School Monarch Butterfly Garden Project – Blanco, Texas

This project will create a Monarch Butterfly Garden for future ecology students to explore and get firsthand knowledge in ecology studies. The presence of the garden will provide habitat and a food source for the Monarch butterfly, promote their migration through Texas, and help increase their dwindling population numbers. The presence of Monarchs and other pollinators will also help the existing community vegetable garden, which provides vegetables for students to eat at home and in school.

Central Texas Food Bank Learning Garden and Monarch Butterfly Habitat- Austin, Texas

The Central Texas Food Bank Learning Garden provides education, food production, and community-building training for low-income individuals and families, Food Bank Partner Agencies and their clients, and other community organizations interested in serving low-income individuals. The project pairs food production for hunger relief with educational programming to promote healthy food choices and physically active lifestyles. The garden is also located along the migratory path of Monarch Butterflies, which have been seen in the past feeding on several small plantings. The expansion of the garden will increase the amount of Monarch Butterfly habitat, support their migration, and provide the community an opportunity to become educated on the species.

Dallas County Hospital- Parkland Pantry & Pollinator Sanctuary- Dallas, Texas

A community maintained garden, monarch butterfly pollinator garden, and seasonal high tunnel will be established at Parkland owned-and-operated Southeast Dallas Health Center to address an urban food desert and provide vital pollinator habitat. The community garden and seasonal high tunnel will provide year-round access to sustainably grown produce in a low-income neighborhood in Dallas and act as a health and wellness, urban farming and natural resource conservation education tool for the local community. The Monarch Butterfly gardens will provide a community-maintained habitat for declining pollinator species and serve as a space for community engagement and education in natural resource conservation.

Galveston’s Own Farmers Market Young Gardeners Program- Galveston, Texas

Galveston's Own Farmers Market (GOFM) launched our Young Gardeners Program (YGP), a collaboration between GOFM & the Galveston Independent School District (GISD). This new program aims to bring the benefits of growing organic food, eating healthy, being outdoors, and working collectively to local children, one school at a time.

Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas - STEM Center of Excellence Butterfly Pavilion- Dallas, Texas

A monarch butterfly pollinator garden will be established at the Stem Center of Excellence to add to the already established Pond, Butterfly Pavilion and Garden. The Butterfly Pavilion will offer programming to align with pollinator gardens, butterfly habitats and related girl scouts badge work.

Gleaning Network of Texas - Owenwood Farm & Neighbor Space: Building Sustainability in Far East Dallas, Texas

The purpose of this project is to further the transformation of the urban 7.3 acre property from a standard 1960’s church landscape plan with holly bushes, neatly cut grass, and an open field into a vibrant, sustainable ecosystem that serves as home for pollinators, provides learning opportunities, and produces food for neighbors and broader community members. All growing practices will use organic methods.

Bexar Land Trust aka Green Spaces Alliance - Bulverde Oaks Nature Preserve Petite Pollinator Prairies – Bulverde, Texas

The Green Spaces Alliance of South Texas will improve and expand the development of two pocket prairies along the trails and a third pollinator garden at the parking lot of the Bulverde Oaks Nature Preserve. This will give insects and birds refuge and a source of host plants and nectar throughout the year.

H.O.P.E. for Small Farm Sustainability – South Texas Certified Organic Community Garden- Harlingen, Texas

The goal of Holistic Organic Product Education (HOPE) for Small Farm Sustainability is to provide a certified organic community garden and Micro Farming site for beginning farmers in South Texas.  The garden along with a seasonal high tunnel will provide instructional and hands-on training assistance to socially and economically disadvantaged individuals with minimum resources for starting and owning economically and ecologically sustainable gardens and micro farms, bettering our communities, our environment and increase healthy food choices.

Laredo Community College- Laredo, Texas

Laredo Community College is a regional destination for elementary, middle, and high school students to receive science instruction, mainly in life, biological, aquatic, and environmental sciences, and for many children it is their first taste of a wonderful natural resource environment, which are limited in the area. A combined Community Garden and Seasonal High Tunnel will increase the learning opportunities for the students in the region, who do not have many “free choice science learning” opportunities.

Logan Elementary School Garden- Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas

Logan Elementary will be constructing a garden that will teach children about the benefits of healthy foods and address the issues of childhood obesity by teaching healthy eating habits. Hands on activities and sustainable access to healthy food will promote self-reliance and the importance of enhancing quality of life as well as the environment.

Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) Community Garden and Pollinator Support Initiative- San Antonio, Texas

The intent of this project is to provide OLLU’s underserved students and community with hands-on experiences in food production and resource conservation that promote sustainable agricultural practices. As an added benefit the community will have direct access to fresh and sustainably grown produce from a garden that they helped to maintain. The garden will also support biological diversity by implementing a dedicated pollinator garden space.

Northside Independent School District - Palo Alto College Student and Community Garden Expansion- San Antonio, Texas

The overall goal of the project is to leverage the Palo Alto College (PAC) Student Garden as a vegetable production site to provide hands-on learning experiences in sustainable agriculture and improve access to healthy food for PAC students and the surrounding community, addressing areas identified as food deserts by the USDA in South San Antonio.

Project ACORN (Alamo-Area Children Organized to Replant Natives)- San Antonio, Texas

The goal of Project ACORN is to establish a community vegetable garden and a pollinator garden on two Bexar County public school campuses, with the purposes of improving access to healthy, affordable food and providing learning experiences related to conservation, soil health and organic agriculture.

San Antonio College – Urban Community Learning and Conservation Gardens – San Antonio, Texas

The purpose of this multi-faceted program is to introduce a wide and diverse range of community members to the importance of conservation and sustaining green spaces, water, wildlife, and natural resources. A native plant pollinator garden will be established, and an existing community garden will be expanded at the Eco Centro working in collaboration with the Tobin Hill Neighborhood Association.  A pollinator garden will be established at Victory Center, a Military Veteran support, Wellness, and Academic Center.

San Antonio River Foundation -Confluence Park – San Antonio, Texas

Confluence Park will transform a former Southside industrial laydown yard into a unique, interactive learning and recreational space. The park will include an educational pavilion, a large-scale water catchment system, ecotype demonstration quadrants and an inviting gateway to hiking and biking trails along the Historic Mission Reach portion of the San Antonio River. A pollinator garden will be established and focus primarily on growing native specimens that are beneficial for the larval stage of pollinators.

Smithville Food Pantry- Monarch Butterfly Garden- Bastrop, Texas

The newly constructed Smithville Food Pantry was designed to provide a sense of dignity and value for all who seek its services. The goals of building a Monarch Butterfly Garden are to not only provide a habitat of native plant species to support butterflies and other pollinator species in the area, but to also provide a beautiful environment to support the emotional needs of the Food Pantry’s clients.

YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth, Texas

The YMCA of Metropolitan Fort Worth will use Monarch butterfly habitats and urban gardening to support migration and pollination, encourage plant growth and food distribution to communities in need, and enhance urban youth participation in environmental research. 

Texas Southern University - Blodgett Urban Garden – Houston, Texas

The purpose of the Blodgett Urban Garden at Texas Southern University in Houston is to utilize the land for production of sustainably grown produce to serve the immediate and surrounding communities and to teach and demonstrate sustainable growing practices that could be used in home gardens. The mission of Blodgett Urban Garden is to provide access to fresh produce, educate the community about gardening and good nutrition, and create a safe gathering place for civic and social pride. The garden is to be a reliable source of fresh produce for residents and students in the community.