Foyer: Conservation


Water is a resource for which we have no substitute. It is essential to life. Here in Houston we either seem to have too much of it or not enough of it. In the wake of epic droughts and floods, can our individual choices make a difference?

Yes! This exhibit will increase awareness of how choosing native plants can improve our water quality and mitigate storm water flows. Visitors will learn how selecting permeable surfaces and beneficial natives can positively impact our water quality, improve local flooding issues, and conserve precious water and money.

Storm-water runoff can carry harmful substances and toxins directly into our waterways. In fact, runoff has a huge negative impact on our water quality. Native plants help prevent water from running rapidly into storm drains. Their hardy, extensive root systems help capture water during heavy downpours and filter it before it makes its way into our watersheds. The fact that natives do not require pesticides and fertilizers means that the runoff from a native garden is cleaner.

Houston is a dynamic, growing city. That growth has meant more streets, parking lots, and hot, dirty pavement. Rainwater moves rapidly over these hard surfaces—too rapidly, overwhelming our storm sewers and local waterways. The use of permeable surfaces and native plantings can help slow this overwhelming flow and mitigate erosion and silting issues in our creeks and bayous.

Finally, choosing natives makes sense in our Texas climate, where drought is never far behind the last flood. Native plants are resilient, requiring less water and care. They need little in the way of pesticides, fertilizers, and mowing. In the long run, they not only save water, but their carefree nature saves money.

Choices matter. Making informed choices and encouraging our friends and neighbors to consider these issues can make a difference. Visitors will learn how they can have a positive impact on our urban ecosystem. The quality of our water is in our hands.

Location: Beck Building, First Floor Lobby