UNT Pollinative Prairie

Background: The University of North Texas in Denton has adopted a commitment to long-term sustainability and reducing environmental impacts on their campuses. Made possible by yearly student contributions to the We Mean Green Fund (WMGF), UNT’s environmental efforts include: converting their campus to 100% renewable energy, creating a campus community garden, investing in mobile solar-powered generators for university events, art installations on campus storm drains, and a 4-acre prairie restored with native plants, designating UNT as a Bee Campus USA.

Project: Since the project’s inception in spring 2016, the 4 acres of old pasture overrun with non-native Bermudagrass have been transformed into a functioning native Texas tallgrass prairie system, creating enhanced wildlife habitat and field research opportunities for UNT’s ecology students. The Pollinative prairie was created with the goal of improving urban biodiversity and environmental education.

Restoration: Using restoration techniques such as solarization, mulching, and herbicides, volunteers and staff removed the non-native turf grasses, which were then replaced by seeding Texas native grasses and wildflowers. These native plants create healthy grassland habitat essential for dozens of North Texas species, especially insect pollinators and prairie-adapted birds such as American Kestrels. Nest boxes for these small falcons were installed on the property, at the southern edge of their breeding range, where multiple kestrel chicks hatched this year. Additionally, thanks to enhanced pollinator habitat, the property has been designated as a Monarch Waystation, allowing researchers to tag and study migrating monarchs.

Community Impact: The UNT Pollinative Prairie serves as a classroom and outdoor laboratory for the university’s ecology students, where they perform research, learn field techniques, and document biodiversity changes using collaborative databases such as iNaturalist. The prairie’s restoration efforts wouldn’t have been possible without student volunteers, who created and distributed seed balls, removed non-native species, built and installed nest boxes and other infrastructure.

Learn more about this project

Visit the project website

Related Articles

Denton Record Chronicle December 8, 2019

UNT’s Pollinative Prairie has become reality

TxN Certification Projects

Half-Pint Prairie one year after being planted

2020

Half-Pint Prairie

Austin, Texas

2020

Near Space Labs

Austin, Dallas, and Houston, Texas

2020

Houston Toad Recovery Program

Houston, Texas

2020

Alvéole

Houston and DFW, Texas

2020

Wakeem | Teschner Nature Preserve

El Paso, Texas

2020

Texas Shrike Force

, Statewide

2020

Bee a Solution

Smith and Wood Counties, Texas

2020

Sandia Springs Wetlands Project

Balmorhea, Texas

2019

WPX Energy’s Dark Skies Efforts

Permian Basin, TX

2019

B-Austin Community

Austin, Texas

2019

Bandera Corridor Conservation Bank

Bandera Canyonlands, Texas

2019

Audubon Conservation Ranching

Mason, Presidio, Waller, and Gillespie counties, Texas

2019

Texas A&M Forest Service Longleaf Ridge

Jasper County, Texas

2019

Texas A&M Brazos Valley WaterSmart

College Station and Bryan, Texas

2019

Texas A&M AgriLife Water University

Dallas Metroplex, Texas

rights-of-way pollinator habitat

2019

EOG Resources’ Pollinator Habitat

Eagle Ford Shale , Texas

2018

YMCA Camp Moody

Buda, Texas

2018

Friends of RGV Reef

Gulf Coast, Texas

2018

Central Texas Pollinator Project

Central Texas, Texas

2018

Westbury Community Garden

Houston, Texas

2018

McKinney ISD Monarch Project

McKinney, Texas

2018

Headwaters At The Comal

New Braunfels, Texas

Cibolo Nature Center Farm

2016

Cibolo Nature Center & Farm

Boerne, Texas

2016

7 Oaks Ward Walker Ranch

Ozona, Texas

2016

Dell Campus Pollinator Habitat

Round Rock, Texas

X