The Harris County Flood Control District is sowing seeds for a more sustainable tomorrow. The Flood Control District is partnering with Texas Native Seed (TNS) on a new project that studies native grasses in an effort to develop a genetically improved seed mix. This study will benefit future Flood Control District site stabilization, as well as green infrastructure projects throughout the region.
Native grass seeding on Flood Control District projects has been a long-sought-after goal. However, identifying a commercially available and locally adaptable species suitable for the region has been challenging. Recently, the Flood Control District in conjunction with TNS, part of Texas A&M Kingsville, broke ground in April of 2021. TNS has a proven track record of producing seed varieties adapted for various parts of the state. Uniquely, instead of randomly seeding test plots with existing seed varieties, they will be starting with known species native to the region to produce a seed mix more inclined to thrive in the local environment.
Plots were planted in May of 2021, on the northern and southern ends of the county to account for the varying soil types throughout. By cultivating native grass species that can be established and persist in the area, the Flood Control District and other public and private industries that desire to establish native grasses will have species that can provide repeatable results.
In addition, Flood Control District will be working in cooperation with Houston Wilderness to help facilitate and promote the use of native grasses in hopes local seed producers will invest their land and resources into producing commercially available native grass seed mixes. This project aims to satisfy the growing demand for the incorporation of native species in green infrastructure throughout the region and create a greener tomorrow.
The project will take up to five years to complete.