Katy Prairie Conservancy Native Plants Program receives grant

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The Katy Prairie Conservancy’s Native Plants Program received a $5,000 grant from Wells Fargo this month.

The concept of planting natives is catching on across the region due to their beauty, benefit to pollinators, and role in flood control.

“This grant from Wells Fargo will assist the Katy Prairie Conservancy in continuing and growing its native plants programs,” said Ali Dodson, advancement director for the Katy Prairie Conservancy. “These outreach programs are essential as the Katy Prairie Conservancy works to tell its story of coastal prairie conservation, garner community support, and inspire the next generation of environmental stewards.”

The programs supported by the grant include seed collecting, the Native Seed Nursery, and educational programming.

Collecting native seeds is the first step in the process of growing native plants that are then used in restoration projects. Seeds are also used in the Katy Prairie Conservancy’s Native Seed Nursery and given away as part of the Great Grow Out program, which encourages volunteer growers to grow plants in their own homes using locally collected prairie seeds.

The Katy Prairie Conservancy Native Seed Nursery grows thousands of plants each year to be used in restoration projects. The nursery is heavily supported by volunteers and is a wonderful way for individuals to be involved in large-scale restoration projects. These restoration projects across the Katy Prairie Preserve are important in helping with flood control, as native grasses have deep root systems with increased water holding capacity.

Finally, the Katy Prairie Conservancy’s educational programs allow urban students and families to learn about the coastal prairie and native plants through hands-on activities and restoration projects on the prairie. Creating pocket prairies, planting native plants in yards and gardens, and youth programming on the prairie all encourage Houstonians to value native plants for all they provide to wildlife and people.

“Wells Fargo is committed to supporting organizations like the Katy Prairie Conservancy that address critical environmental needs,” said Tom DeBesse, Houston North region bank president. “The native plant and educational programs will help make a positive impact in our community and foster a generation of leaders who value sustainability.”

Mary Anne Piacentini, president of the Katy Prairie Conservancy, added, “We are so grateful to Wells Fargo for this important gift that will help the Katy Prairie Conservancy continue to build on its base of land protection, prairie restoration, and community involvement. An important piece of this work is the Native Plants Program, which starts with seed collection and ends with the restoration of coastal prairie. These programs allow every Houstonian to get involved and make a difference as we create a resilient community for generations to come.”

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