Diversity in plant species helping San Antonio River Walk after severe winter weather

Sustainable landscape ecologist says diversity of native species will help during spring migrations

SAN ANTONIO – Brown plants have littered South Texas after many died or were damaged in February’s winter storms. But along the River Walk, the SA River Authority said they might be in better shape than they thought.

After assessing the damage, they noticed that some species of plants struggled during the snow and ice. However, the River Authority’s Sustainable Landscape Ecologist, Lee Marlowe, said the River Walk will still be able to support wildlife during the important spring migration.

“It really goes back to a goal of trying to have a diversity of native species out in the landscape, because every year conditions are going to be better for some plants than others,” Marlowe said.

Marlowe said many of the plants that died during the winter weather are actually non-native species people may be growing in their yards. She said that the diversity in the plants will help Monarch butterflies and many birds rest and recharge as they fly North through San Antonio this Spring.

Now that it is March, we can expect to see a number of species migrate through South Texas. Many people may have been trying to plant milkweed or other native plants to help, but the winter weather may have stunted those plans. But, Marlowe said you can shift your focus to Autumn.

“Thinking about which plants we can put in, that will be blooming in the fall when the monarchs are coming back south on their way to Mexico. That is something to think about right now and try trying to secure those plants,” Marlowe said.

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