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Media Contact: Tom Harvey, 512-389-4453, tom.harvey@tpwd.texas.gov [TH]

TPWD Website: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us

TPWD News Release — April 17, 2006

Wildscapes Workshop Offered for San Antonio Homeowners

SAN ANTONIO — An April 22 workshop here will arm homeowners with knowledge and resources to help solve a growing wildlife problem—how human development often removes wildlife habitat, causing a loss of native plants that provide numerous benefits for people and the natural environment.

“Homeowners are often left with very little on their homestead other than their home–if they are lucky maybe a tree, a few shrubs (often not even native to the area) and some turfgrass,” said Judit Green, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department urban wildlife biologist in San Antonio.

Green said landowners can make a positive difference in several ways. First, they can work with developers and builders from the beginning and insist on saving valuable plants, trees and shrubs on their new property. “Put it in the contract and place a value on the plants in case they are damaged during development,” Green suggested. She suggests using a local plant field guide to learn what beauty and wildlife value they might offer in the coming years before selectively removing any.

Homeowners who have purchased a house well after development has taken place can select regionally appropriate native Texas plants at local plant nurseries and create a garden that is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also uses less water and is better for local wildlife.

“Focus on plants that offer some type of food, such as a berry, seed, acorn or nectar that will provide for birds, butterflies, mammals and other wildlife,” Green said. “Once many of these plants mature, they may also offer nesting and shelter opportunities for wildlife too.”

The TPWD Urban Wildlife Office in San Antonio offers various workshops throughout the year for homeowners and landowners to learn how to manage their property for wildlife, be it small or large.

The next workshop, focusing on the Texas Wildscapes native plant landscaping for wildlife program, will be held from 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. April 22 at the Palo Alto College Performing Arts Building auditorium. The workshop will cover ways to use drought-tolerant native plants that attract birds, butterflies and other wildlife to the backyard.

The cost of the workshop is $20 per person, or $35 for two people, which includes lunch. Walk-ins are welcome, but pre-registration is required to be eligible for door prizes. Call (210) 688-6444 to pre-register or to get more information or see the TPWD Web site for a complete schedule of landowner workshops and field days across Texas.

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