Where are They Now: Borderlands Research Institute Feed a Bee Planting Update

Colin Shackelford, Project Coordinator

Sam Houston once said, “Texas is the finest portion of the globe that has blessed my vision,” and, as a seventh-generation Texan myself, I have to say I agree. It’s this love of the Texas land that led me to my professional career and lifelong passion – restoration and conservation of the grand landscapes that grace West Texas.

In 2011, I joined a new project helmed by the Borderlands Research Institute at Sul Ros State University and the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M Kingsville – West Texas Native Seeds (WTNS). Founded with a mission to develop and promote native plants to restore and reclaim habitats on public and private lands across West Texas, WTNS is working to develop multiple pollinator-attractant native seed species for commercial release to increase forage areas for Texas pollinators.

We were one of the first groups awarded a Feed a Bee forage grant in 2017, which helped fund this seed research and our public education efforts. Community outreach is a key component of our work, and findings from our small-scale research plots are used to develop restoration best practices that we share with local communities through field days, presentations, and published extension articles. In addition, we provide one-on-one consultation to landowners, agencies and industry personnel.

One year after receiving our Feed a Bee grant, WTNS is still hard at work researching new pollinator-attractant seeds to bring to market in the hopes that businesses, government agencies and even individuals across West Texas will incorporate them into their lawns and gardens. Check out a video feature of what we’ve been up to recently and what we’ve accomplished with our grant funds by heading over to FeedABee.com.