Seed collection event comes to Harlingen

HARLINGEN — A volunteer effort to collect seeds from native plant species is coming here Saturday.

Seed Collection Saturday is a series of events seeking to add to seed stocks at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Native Plant Nursery near Alamo.

The nursery produces 80,000 herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees annually for habitat restoration in the Rio Grande Valley.

Saturday’s event will be held at the Harlingen Thicket at 311 E. Taft Ave. beginning at 8 a.m. and continuing until noon. Last Saturday’s kickoff seed harvest event was at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge.

Plants propagated at the nursery south of Alamo have been planted on hundreds of acres in South Texas to return at least some of the acreage in the Valley back to its native, Tamaulipan thorn-scrub state.

Kim Wahl, a plant biologist with Fish and Wildlife, is spearheading the effort which she says “all starts with the seeds, and if we don’t have the seeds, we can’t do anything.”

Wahl said volunteers last week at Santa Ana, despite the dire weather forecast, were able to collect three pounds’ worth of seeds or 25,000 individual seeds, Wahl said via email.

“At the Harlingen Thicket, we will primarily be focusing on lotebush and amargosa,” Wahl said.

Volunteers should wear long pants and hiking shoes, and bring hat, gloves, bug spray, sunscreen and water.

For more information on dates and times of future Seed Collection Saturday events, email Wahl at Kimberly_Wahl@fws.gov

If you go

WHAT — Seed Collection Saturday

WHERE — Harlingen Thicket, 311 E. Taft Avenue

WHEN — Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon

MEET — Harlingen Thicket parking area on Taft

BRING — Wear long pants and hiking shoes, bring hat, gloves, bug spray, sunscreen, water