HOUSTON, November 15, 2019 – The Mayor’s Proud Partner Award was given to Katy Prairie Conservancy (KPC) and partners Clark Condon, Garden Club of Houston and Houston Museum of Natural Science (HMNS) in the Beautification/Environmental Stewardship category for their work on the 9 Natives Showcase Garden on the grounds of HMNS. Administered by Keep Houston Beautiful, the 35th Mayor’s Proud Partners Awards spotlighted 19 exceptional projects and programs, supported by businesses, individuals, youth and community groups that have made a positive, lasting impact while giving back to the City of Houston’s environment.
The 9 Natives program promotes the value of native plants to pollinators and how these plants are part of the important prairie landscape, even in the city. As the Katy Prairie Conservancy collaborated with others on this idea, the vision of showing the public what a nine natives garden looks, smells and feels like sprang to life.
KPC requested funding from the Garden Club of Houston, which awarded a grant for the project. Next, Clark Condon came on board and offered to design the space free of charge. Finally, Houston Museum of Natural Science became a partner by providing a space for the garden’s installation, fronting San Jacinto Street and adjacent to the Cockrell Butterfly Center.
“This has truly been a powerful collaboration of organizations which value the importance of nature, beautification and native habitats to effect positive change in our city,” says Ali Dodson, Advancement Director for Katy Prairie Conservancy. “With the help of many volunteers, the partners were able to create a model of a manicured version of a pocket prairie. The use of various native plants, carefully and purposefully designed and planted, demonstrates to passersbys how easy it is to incorporate native plants into their own yards.”
This easily accessible area in the Museum District shows how public spaces can be beautified with native plants. The 9 Natives Showcase Garden, as it grows and blossoms, will also provide invaluable information about garden maintenance and the long-term life and health of a limited species garden. Some of the native plant species used include bluebonnet, black-eyed Susan, Indian blanket, and scarlet sage.
The 9 Natives Showcase Garden will be maintained by the Houston Museum of Natural Science and volunteers who come on designated “maintenance days.” However, native plants are hardy and can survive extreme heat or cold, drought, and wind. Once established, native plants usually require little or no irrigation or fertilization and are resistant to many pests and diseases. When mixed together, they can provide year-round color and beauty, as well as provide food and homes for birds, bees, and butterflies.
For more information on the 9 Natives program and how to plant natives in your yard or garden, visit http://www.katyprairie.org/nine-natives.
About Katy Prairie Conservancy
The Katy Prairie Conservancy is a nonprofit land trust dedicated to preserving the coastal prairie for people and wildlife. For Houston, the Katy Prairie Preserve is the right prairie in the right place. These protected lands west of the city play an important role in flood control, outdoor recreation, and wildlife habitat. But there is still prairie that remains unprotected. Our work is not done. To learn more about Katy Prairie Conservancy’s conservation efforts, visit katyprairie.org or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @katyprairie.
About Clark Condon
Clark Condon is a Houston-based Landscape Architecture firm specializing in the design of creative, interactive and engaging outdoor environments for our clients and the community. For more than three decades, Clark Condon has engaged in a multitude of projects within various disciplines to enrich the lives of our end-users through our passion for excellent design and quality of work. Clark Condon’s culture fosters collaboration, creativity and unity among our team. Our mission is to enjoy the art and science of creating meaningful outdoor environments with our community and clients at heart.
About Garden Club of Houston
The Garden Club of Houston has been a member of The Garden Club of America since 1932. The purpose of the Garden Club of America is to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening, to share the advantages of association by means of educational meetings, conferences, correspondence and publications, and to restore, improve, and protect the quality of the environment through educational programs and action in the fields of conservation and civic improvement.
About Houston Museum of Natural Science
The Houston Museum of Natural Science—one of the nation’s most heavily attended museums—is a centerpiece of the Houston Museum District. With four floors of permanent exhibit halls, and the Wortham IMAX® Theatre, Cockrell Butterfly Center, Burke Baker Planetarium and George Observatory and as host to world-class and ever-changing touring exhibitions, the Museum has something to delight every age group. With such diverse and extraordinary offerings, a trip to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, located at One Hermann Circle Drive in the heart of the Museum District, is always an adventure.