Using native plants to enhance urban landscapes

Using native plants to enhance urban landscapes

Finding ways to solve conservation problems with plants is one of the hallmarks of the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service’s (NRCS) Plant Materials Program. The East Texas Plant Materials Center (ETPMC) in Nacogdoches, TX, was recently contacted by city leadership with a problem. The median of Texas Highway 59 at the northern entrance of the city was planted with non-native bermudagrass and bahiagrass. While the grasses provided some erosion control, they required frequent mowing in the summer and in the winter, were dormant and unsightly. The city was searching for a solution that would reduce mowing frequency, increase sustainability, and provide beautification of the city entryway.

City leaders met with ETPMC and Texas Native Seeds staff and developed a plan and set a planting date. Dawn Stover, ETPMC Agronomist, and Tyler Wayland with Texas Native Seeds, developed a seeding mix of native wildflowers, grasses, and legumes that would provide cover and color throughout the growing seasons for the benefit of pollinators. The mix included several USDA NRCS Plant Materials Program conservation plant releases, Texas Native Seeds plant releases, as well as commercially produced wildflower species that are adapted to the climate and soils of East Texas. More information about the releases and species used in the planting can be found on the Texas NRCS news page: Blooming with pride | Natural Resources Conservation Service (

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Photo: Natural Resource Conservation Service.



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