Native Grass Program

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Native prairie grasses and flowers are being planted in select drainage channels in Fort Worth, but it’s more than just a pretty gardening project — they have the potential to save residents money and protect against flooding.

Sediment — dirt, basically — is one of the top causes of blocked storm drains and channels. When storm drains and channels are blocked by sediment, water will overflow storm drains and channels, potentially flooding of streets and properties.

The city’s Stormwater Management division started a pilot project in August 2013 to plant native grasses and flowers around reconstructed drainage channels. The program, a partnership with the Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) and the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge, is aimed at preventing significant erosion into the drainage system. Less erosion means less dirt blocking channels and pipes, which also improves water quality.

Additionally, a reduction in soil erosion also will reduce the need to clean out storm drains, allowing the stormwater utility fee paid by residents to go further.

The project also has the potential to save money on maintenance of drainage channels.

Native grasses require less maintenance than the typical Johnson-type grasses planted in many areas of the city. Native species require little-to-no regular watering or mowing.

To learn more about the pilot program, email Juan Candena.

Video: See the project in action

View the video on the NBC DFW site.