News Flash

Parks & Recreation

Posted on: December 31, 2020

Grow Zone and Native Prairie Pilot Program Underway

Willow Springs

The City of San Marcos Keep San Marcos Beautiful and Habitat Conservation Plan programs have partnered to conduct a pilot program for a grow zone and native prairie at Willow Springs Park, 325 Ellis Street. 

A grow zone allows native plants to grow along creeks and open spaces which creates a native habitat with diversity of plants and wildflowers. Native prairies are unique and complex ecosystems that can contain native grasses with roots that extend down to 12 feet below the surface. The roots act as pathways for water to enter the soil to recharge the aquifer, and as a water filtration system, cleaning water as it passes underground. 

“Grow zones have many benefits for the San Marcos River and native wildlife, and provide interesting areas to explore,” said Habitat Conservation Plan Manager Melani Howard. “We look forward to establishing these areas, returning them to their native habitat, and sharing them with the public.” 

Benefits of grow zone/native prairies include:

  • Improvement of water quality
  • Erosion reduction
  • Increase in wildlife habitat
  • Savings of tax dollars spent on mowing

 “It is our hope that San Marcos residents will embrace these changes and appreciate the benefits of natural ecosystems,” said Community Enhancement Initiatives Manager Amy Thomaides. “This initiative will also enhance the Bird City Texas Certification process that is currently underway.”

Residents interested in volunteering to help with the establishment of the native prairies or Adopt-a-Creek may contact Amy Thomaides at athomaides@sanmarcostx.gov

About Bird City Texas: A Texas Parks and Wildlife community-focused certification program has been created to help people protect birds and their habitats where we live, work, and recreate. The criteria required to attain certification is designed to be impactful and efficient against habitat loss and other harmful factors impacting birds.

Adopt-a-Creek: As part of the Adopt-a-Spot program, individuals, organizations and businesses can adopt an area and perform a minimum of six (6) work days per year to engage our residents to take responsibility for our natural environment. 

 

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