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Energy & Environment

East End Garden Attracts Pollinators to Urban Area

As urban areas grow, pollinators like honeybees and monarch butterflies lose their habitats. A new garden in Houston’s East End aims to attract those insects and teach people how to plant pollinator gardens at home.



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The corner of Harrisburg and Lockwood is the location of the Lockwood Nature Center. Image courtesy of Greater East End Management District

Lockwood Nature Center Map
Lockwood Nature Center Map. Image courtesy of Greater East End Management District

The corner of Harrisburg and Lockwood has been a busy one with a major light rail project taking over the area. But now that the construction dust has settled, that corner is also home to a special garden.

The Lockwood Nature Garden Preserve used to be a used car lot. Now it’s an oasis of native plants, shrubs and grasses intended to attract pollinating insects and birds.

Diane Schenke is president of the Greater East End Management District. She says the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service wanted to have more of a presence in urban parts of Houston. So they provided a $25,000 grant to the East End to create the garden.

“So we’ve gone from having what would have been largely grass, to a very colorful set of plants that are designed to attract both butterflies and hummingbirds,” Schenke says.

The garden also has educational signs to teach visitors about the importance of attracting pollinators to urban areas. Schenke says it’s as simple as planting milkweed, a favorite food for monarch butterflies.

“I’ve had one gentleman call me and say he’s planted his entire back yard in milkweed, because he’s so concerned about the monarch butterfly not being able to thrive,” Schenke says.

The garden is outfitted with lighting, benches and bike paths. A large flower-shaped sculpture made of old VW Beetle parts will also find a permanent home there in the coming year. The Lockwood Garden is open to visitors, but won’t really start showing off its best assets until next summer.


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Laurie Johnson-Ramirez

Laurie Johnson-Ramirez

Executive Director of Content Operations

As Executive Director of Content Operations, Laurie Johnson-Ramirez leads the strategic vision and initiatives for News, Digital, Radio Operations and Talk Shows on all of Houston Public Media’s platforms. She brings 20 years of experience in journalism and content development to the role. Her focus is on reaching new audiences,...

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