Give a Hoot for Wildscapes

Guest Author

By Alex Scott Antram, Guest Author

Need some water conservation inspiration? A native plant oasis on the Southside of San Antonio awaits you at Mitchell Lake Audubon Center!

The 1200-acre wildlife refuge owned by SAWS and managed by the National Audubon Society is much more than a nature preserve. The gardens surrounding the Leeper House, a historic home moved onsite to serve as the Audubon Center’s offices, have been meticulously designed with water conservation and wildlife preservation in mind.

Mitchell Lake’s expert horticulturalists have chosen the best plants to thrive in our hot and dry South Central Texas climate — plants that are not only important food and shelter sources for native wildlife, but are oh-so aesthetically appealing to you and me!

Milkweed flourishes, the only larval food source for the endangered Monarch butterfly, and stunning blossoms attract several species of hummingbirds. In fact, Mitchell Lake attracts upwards of 120 different species of birds, and our native plant gardens play a huge role in keeping threatened birds and pollinators, native reptiles and small mammals, nourished and protected in our ever-developing city.

The perfect time to enjoy the Leeper House gardens and find inspiration for your own backyard wildscape is coming up this Saturday October 18, 2014 with our 10th Annual Hoot & Harvest Festival. This free community event features a day of fun-filled and family-friendly activities that will entertain, engage and educate everyone about the wondrous world of nature!

Join us from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. for hayride tours, local arts and crafts, live bird and reptile presentations, butterfly walks, games for kids, and so much more. Our horticulturalists have been preparing all year to offer a selection of native plants for purchase, so you’ll be able to bring a little piece of our refuge home with you to enjoy.

It is not surprising for people to be taken aback by the beauty of our gardens when they visit Mitchell Lake Audubon Center for the first time — come see what all the fuss is about and enjoy the festival!

Alex Scott Antram is a volunteer coordinator for Mitchell Lake Audubon Center.

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