On National Planting Day, September 9, 2017, Keep Texas Beautiful in partnership with AEP Texas awarded six affiliate communities the Native Garden Grant to create and maintain a native plant demonstration garden. They were: Keep Alpine Beautiful, Keep Cleburne Beautiful, Keep Gatesville Beautiful, Keep Grapevine Beautiful, Keep Hutto Beautiful and Keep Port Aransas Beautiful.
Since then, the six affiliate communities have been working hard to create, implement and sustain their garden projects. These gardens have served as a model to educate and engage their volunteer networks to grow native species and beautify their communities.
We are proud to share the winning native plant demonstration gardens with you. Thank you to AEP Texas for their partnership!
Keep Alpine Beautiful
After removing several unkempt rose bushes from Baines Park, Keep Alpine Beautiful decided to add a native plant demonstration garden to attract butterflies and pollinators, provide a visually stimulating addition, and educate the public about the importance of native flowers and insects.
Keep Cleburne Beautiful installed their native plant demonstration garden in a field adjacent to Booker T. Washington Community Center. They strategically chose native plants that would reseed to allow further plant growth for future community projects.
Keep Grapevine Beautiful and Grapevine Parks and Recreation Department designed their native plant demonstration garden on the site of a former, neglected garden space. They collaborated with the Tarrant Regional Water District to create an irrigation system that would ensure the success of the garden and conserve water. They also involved more than 50 students who became educated on the importance of native plants.
Keep Gatesville Beautiful selected a site in the city's Freedom Park for their native plant demonstration garden. They successfully created a 20x30 sqaure-foot garden that allowed them to begin educating residents about water consumption and native planting.
Keep Hutto Beautiful created a Monarch Waystation as their native plant demonstration garden at the Peterson Community Garden. This Waystation provides food and habitat for the struggling Monarch butterfly population and is one of many future demonstrations, as they plan to turn the Peterson Community Garden into a teaching space for many more garden demonstrations.
Students from the University of Texas at Austin School of Geosciences Sustainability class volunteered to install the native plant demonstration garden in front of the new City of Port Aransas Nature Preserve Headquarters. It was an opportunity for them to become educated on the importance of native gardening and build a 5x100 sqaure-foot garden. Keep Port Aransas Beautiful matched the grant to help implement an irrigation system.