Native plants feeling heat in new bio-basin at Ramsey Park

HARLINGEN — Even the experts with the greenest of thumbs sometimes lose out to the Texas sun.

The June 25 planting of native plant species was the crowning touch to the new bio-retention basin at Hugh Ramsey Nature Park.

Some 100 plants and trees, selected by native plant specialist Mike Heep and placed in the basin by volunteers from the Rio Grande Valley chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists, are intended to help filter out oil and other pollutant runoff from the new paved parking lot at the park.

The water that drains from the 100-foot by 8-foot basin into wetland ponds at the park and eventually into the Arroyo Colorado will have been stripped of most pollutants.

Despite a watering system put in place in the basin, several of the Texas wild olives planted by the volunteers appear to be dying.

“When we planted those five wild olives in there, we knew we were taking a chance,” Heep said yesterday after inspecting the basin. “We said hey, if they don’t make it, we’ll replace them.”

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