EcoTexas is a nonprofit organization that encourages friends and neighbors to take action to reduce the threat of invasive species to our community. Making a difference is easy as there are many ways to help out. Join us in our attempts to lessen the threat invasive species pose to our precious ecosystems.
Are you looking for information on our current workdays? Check out The Network.
The Workday Network
In an effort to ensure the success of other organizations and individuals supporting this cause, EcoTexas is actively working on The EcoTexas Network. As a member of The Network, organizations can be matched with volunteers that can assist at a workday. Volunteers can find instant information about multiple events around Central Texas from the comfort of one website. EcoTexas hopes to have The Network fully functional by Summer 2011.
Over 85% of invasive plants were introduced for landscape purposes by consumers who were unaware of the influence that these plants would have on the local environment. In order to prevent this unintentional introduction of invasive plants to the Austin area, EcoTexas is contacting nurseries and explaining the issue. Keeping consumers from buying these plants or convincing nurseries to stop selling them will prevent serious environmental, economic, and public health problems in the future.
Unfortunately, a vast majority of the Austin community is unaware of the terrible threat that invasive plants pose to the native ecosystem. To reduce this unawareness, EcoTexas is teaming up with students from the Liberal Arts and Science Academy to teach elementary school children about the problems that invasive species cause. EcoTexas hopes to expand this project to multiple elementary schools and, eventually, middle schools in the Austin Independent School District.
Bright Leaf Preserve
EcoTexas started their work on invasive plant removal at the Bright Leaf Preserve in 2007. This preserve, which is over 200 acres in size, is on its way to being free of invasive plants, thanks to the support of John Mahan and the Lucas Foundation, as well as the loyal volunteers who have contributed to this project.
2009 - 2010: Zilker Restoration Project
The Zilker Restoration Project began in July 2009 to improve the state of the Zilker Preserve by removing the severe threat of invasive plant species from over 80 acres of urban forest. This was achieved by holding a few workdays a month, during which enthusiastic volunteers from the Austin community physically removed invasive plant species from the surrounding area. The project was led by EcoTexas, with the help of local groups including the City of Austin, Parks and Recreation Department, the Austin Parks Foundation, Friends of Zilker Preserve, and Keep Austin Beautiful. The Zilker Restoration Project is now complete thanks to help from the Austin Parks Foundation for financial support through grant money, Keep Austin Beautiful for lending tools, and the 3,000+ volunteers who contributed over 4,400 hours, a total value of over $65,000, to this project. EcoTexas is continuing to encourage volunteers from the Austin community to get involved in this effort, and hopes to completely eradicate invasives in many more parks and preserves.
2009: House Bill 2088
EcoTexas campaigned and testified in favor of Texas House Bill 2088 in front of the House Cultural, Recreation, and Tourism committee, which is a bill that requires all plant nurseries in Texas to post a sign in their place of business, informing people about the possible threats of non-native and invasive plants. Education is the one of the most important steps in successfully preventing the distribution of invasive plants.