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Highland Lakes Chapter

Introduction to Native Landscapes – April 20

The Highland Lakes chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) is offering the Introduction to Natural Landscapes class on April 20, 2023 in Burnet County. This class is the first in a series of classes which are part of the Native Landscape Certification Program (NLCP) offered by NPSOT. The class will be in-person starting with a plant walk at Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery and moves to the Marble Falls library for classroom instruction. This is a full day class from 8:00am-3:00pm. The cost is $45. You may register online at https://nativeplantsocietyoftexas.app.neoncrm.com/np/clients/nativeplantsocietyoftexas/event.jsp?event=2196&.

The Native Plant Society of Texas created the Native Landscape Certification Program (NLCP) to encourage a migration of Texans back to nature that will reap priceless benefits for our families, environment, and economy.

NLCP is a series of day-long classes that teach best practices for native plant landscaping – including wildlife habitat gardening. Each class consists of an indoor training session and a plant identification section. We show you plants native to the local ecoregion, illustrating their use in the landscape. You will also see common non-native plants which may take over our natural areas. In each level you are presented 45 native Texas plants recommended for your landscape and 5 plants to avoid. Classes are adapted to the area in which they are offered.

We look forward to working with you to increase your appreciation and use of native plants in landscapes, including

  • emphasizing a sense of place for residents and visitors,
  • increasing the presence of desirable wildlife species,
  • reducing the use of water and other precious resources, and
  • enhancing and protecting our natural world.


NLCP is a state-wide program, but classes focus on the characteristics and plants of the region in which they are taught. Please register for classes located in the region in which you wish to landscape.

Class descriptions – https://www.npsot.org/our-work/class-schedule/class-descriptions/

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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