Fredericksburg Chapter

Pollinator Garden Assistance and Recognition Program

Hands reaching together to an important future. The Kerrville, Fredericksburg and Boerne Chapters of the Native Plant Society of Texas in close partnership with the Texas Master Naturalists, Hill Country Chapter are promoting small plot gardens to protect the life-giving foundation for pollinators.

Think cottage size gardens.

Pollinator gardens provide nectar and habitat for native pollinators. Your small garden will be alive with bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Native Plant Society volunteers are available to partner with you to:

      • discuss garden plan
      • recommend plants that will grow best on your site
      • provide advice and encouragement recognize and
      • reward your important contributions to pollinator conservation.

With this free community service to assist, you can develop a beautiful garden that helps protect pollinators and our native plants – the foundation of life in this ecosystem.

From the Pollinator Garden page of the Hill Country Chapter, Texas Master Naturalist:

Pollinator Champion garden requirements:

Minimum Requirements for new gardens (must meet all):

  • Minimum of approximately 100 square feet total planting area, no larger than 5500 square feet (1/8 acre).
  • Minimum of approximately 100 square feet total planting area or larger for existing gardens.
  • Flowering plants available to pollinators at least nine months of the year.
  • Selective use of pesticides, herbicides, or insecticides in or around the pollinator garden to minimize environmental impact.
  • Plant mix of no less than 75% native and no more than 25% non-native plants.

Additional Requirements (meet at least five):

Suitable Pollinator Habitat
  • Bare ground area with no mulch or stone for native bees
  • Crevices in walls
  • Dry plant stems
  • Low hanging limbs for resting spot
  • Native bee houses
  • Rock piles
  • Snags
  • Stacked logs
  • Un-mown area for overwintering pollinators
Supplemental Food and Water
  • Birdbath
  • Fountain
  • Hummingbird feeders
  • Pollinator puddles
  • Small stream
Other considerations and recommendations:
  • Contact 811 before digging to verify location of underground utilities.
  • Deer proofing measures
  • Wire fencing to exclude small animals.
  • Verify planting plans with Home Owners Association if necessary.
  • Talk to your friends and neighbors about your pollinator gardens.

For more information and to request a volunteer consultation.

Pollinator Gardens support Education in Action

The Doss School, a pre-K through 8th grade school in northern Gillespie County between Fredericksburg and Mason, is one of the first gardens recognized for being a pollinator champion. It is not a traditional small yard garden, but it is within the ability of young children to create and plant . . . with encouragement from friends.

The garden began as a science project led by Master Naturalists “Farmer Don” and “Farmer Sean”. Each student researched the plants that would bring in hummingbirds, butterflies and other pollinators for their school gardens.

Younger students drew pictures; older ones gave reports and created QR codes for visitors to learn about their plants. 

Through the spring, they dug their small plot, created marker stones, and determined where each plant would go. Everyone kept a journal of what they did and learned.

Richard Coleman from the Pollinator Garden and Assistance Program presented Doss School with their pollinator plaque September, 2018.

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About the Region

New Braunfels, the location of our Fall 2024 Symposium, straddles both the Edwards Plateau Ecoregion and the Blackland Prairie ecoregion. Interstate 35 divides the city of New Braunfels; its path through the city closely parallels the boundary of these two ecoregions, with the Edwards Plateau on the west side and the Blackland Prairies region to the east. The Edwards Plateau area is also called the Hill Country; however, this general term covers a much larger area extending farther north. Spring-fed creeks are found throughout the region; deep limestone canyons, rivers, and lakes (reservoirs) are common. Ashe juniper is perhaps the most common woody species found throughout the region. Additional woody species include various species of oak, with live oak (Quercus fusiformis) being the most common. Sycamores (Platanus occidentalis) and bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) border waterways. This area is well known for its spring wildflower displays, though they may be viewed in spring, late summer, and fall, as well. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, average annual rainfall in the Edwards Plateau ranges from 15 to 34 inches.

The Blackland Prairie extends from the Red River south to San Antonio, bordered on the west by the Edwards Plateau and the Cross Timbers, and on the east by the Post Oak Savannah. Annual rainfall averages 30 to 40 inches, with higher averages to the east. This region is dominated by prairie species. The most common grass species include little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) in the uplands and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) in the riparian areas and drainages. Common herbaceous flowering plants include salvias, penstemons, and silphiums. This area has suffered greatly from overgrazing and agricultural use. Few intact areas remain, though many of the plants can be found along county roadsides throughout the region.

Our four host chapters (New Braunfels, Lindheimer, Guadalupe, and the Hill Country chapters) are located in one or both of the ecoregions above. However, the eastern portion of Guadalupe County also falls within the Post Oak Savanna ecoregion. Annual rainfall averages 35 to 45 inches, with higher averages to the east. A wide variety of hardwood trees are found, including several species of oaks, elms, and in the Bastrop area, loblolly pine (Pinus taeda). Grasses and forbs dominate in the open savannas, with most common grass being little bluestem. Ranching, agriculture, and fire suppression have allowed woody species to encroach on the once-open savannas.

Source: Wildflowers of Texas by Michael Eason