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SWCA’s Houston office recently teamed up with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to survey the Katy Prairie’s endangered Texas Prairie Dawn flower.

Tiny yet mighty, these plants, ranging in size from a dime to a half dollar, represent an increasingly rare habitat within the remaining remnants of the Gulf Coastal tallgrass prairie ecosystem. Tracking the population size of the flower provides insight into ecosystem and habitat health. 

A team of SWCA employees set out to survey approximately 30 patches of the floral wonders in a whirlwind three-day trek with a mix of engineering firms, environmental champions, and local agencies. “Together, we counted tens of thousands of plants on our hands and knees, gaining a new appreciation for the little things in life. We also spent quality time together, catching up with old friends, and establishing new ones. We had a total of 48 volunteers who generously donated more than 420 volunteer hours combined,” said Matthew Stahman, fellow volunteer, and leader at an environmental solutions organization. 

SWCA’s 31 hours of volunteer service resulted in a donation of $930 to Coastal Prairie Conservancy, through our Gives Back matching grant program. Since its inception in 1992, the Coastal Prairie Conservancy has been steadfast in its mission to preserve and protect the delicate ecosystem of the coastal prairie for future generations, ensuring its beauty perseveres for years to come.

A special thank you to the following organizations for contributing to the effort: Texas Master Naturalists, Texas Parks & Wildlife, Galveston Bay Foundation, and Rice University.

In a world often preoccupied with the rush of daily life, it’s these quiet acts of stewardship that remind us of our responsibility to protect the natural world. Here’s to the gentle beauty of Kate Prairie, and to those who work tirelessly to safeguard its treasures.