It’s not often that a former First Lady sends a letter to the editor, but Preston Hollow neighbor Laura Bush is passionate about native prairies in Dallas. She wrote to the Dallas Morning News and eloquently spoke about the city’s need to rewild, pointing out that there is a native Texas park at the George W. Bush Presidential Center on the Southern Methodist University campus. The 15-acre native prairie park features the natural environment of our home state, she wrote. “Many years ago, the site would have been a breathtaking Texas prairie. Today, this public park is planted once again with native habitat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife. President George W. Bush and I worked with Michael Van Valkenburg to landscape the grounds with the native habitat that once flourished right here in this part of Texas.”

She noted:

  • Nearly 930 trees native to Texas were planted, including pecan, Texas redbud, live oak, chinkapin oak and Eve’s necklace.
  • A mixture of five Texas native grasses were developed for the lawn with the assistance of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. The mixture, which includes buffalo grass, blue grama, Texas grama, curly mesquite and poverty dropseed (called the Habiturf seed), is available to plant in your own yard. You can purchase it at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center or from Douglas King Seeds.
  • The Bush Center grounds feature the Carolyn and David Miller Amphitheater, a mile-long walking trail, a wildflower meadow and a 252,000-gallon underground cistern that collects storm runoff and repurposes it for irrigation.

“Sow the Habiturf seed,” she says. “Cover your fence with bright orange trumpet vine, line concrete with honeybee loving viburnum, plant antelope horn milkweed to attract our state insect: the monarch butterfly. You can go wild in your own backyard.”

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