Flora & Fauna

Growing Native

On the eastern edge of the Greens WetBank property, the Harris County Flood Control District operates a specialized plant nursery where dozens of wetlands species - such as fragrant white water lily (Nymphaea odorata), softstem bulrush (Scirpus validus) and pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata) - are propagated for transplant back into the WetBank or at other stormwater treatment wetlands across Harris County. The Flood Control District has more than two dozen wet-bottom detention basins within its system, where these plants help filter impurities from stormwater as it passes through, and which also provide attractive greenspace and wildlife habitat in urban neighborhoods.

The nursery was created in 1998, as Subdivision B of the Greens WetBank was being developed, to provide wetland plants that were not locally available, or in insufficient quantities.

Totaling about four acres, the nursery is divided into five planting cells of various water depths.  These include shallower areas to support emergent plants that grow at the wetland edge, deeper pond areas to grow submerged wetland plants, and a deep pond where floating wetland plants thrive.  It can take as many as 7,000 plants per acre to establish a stormwater treatment wetland area.

Exotic and Invasive

Exotic and invasive plant and animal species pose a risk to all natural habitats. Invasive species are introduced to habitats where they have no predators and no disease control, and where they may quickly reproduce. These factors allow them to out-compete native species. Invasive plant species change the nature and quality of habitats by altering or completely removing natural food, nesting and/or shelter for wildlife.