The Katy Prairie Conservancy is one of Get Out Here Houston’s partners and, along with MD Anderson, and Asakura Robinson was awarded the Proud Partner Award from Keep Houston Beautiful at the 33rd Annual Mayor’s Proud Partners Luncheon. This award is given to organizations who have demonstrated a commitment to keeping Houston beautiful.
The MD Anderson Prairie project was born in 2012 in response to the demolition of the Houston Main Building at the corner of Holcombe Boulevard and Fannin Avenue in the heart of the Texas Medical Center. The initial plan was to create a large lawn where the prairie currently sits. Dan Butterwick, a now retired Chief Architect with MD Anderson Cancer Center, instead envisioned a wildscape that would beautify the campus and reduce mowing and watering costs.
The MD Anderson landscape and planning teams embraced and expanded this initial vision. Project leaders agreed to move forward with a 1.7-acre prairie restoration and engaged Asakura Robinson to design the planting areas. Asakura Robinson brought the Katy Prairie Conservancy (KPC) into the project in mid-2012 to help select appropriate seeds for the prairie.
The first seeds were sown in August of 2012, followed by seed drilling in native grasses in January of 2013, which resulted in a spectacular blooming period in the fall of 2014. Over the next two years, KPC staffers developed signage and tours to tell the story of the prairie to the MD Anderson community. The creation of the MD Anderson Prairie has created incredible benefits for the community. The prairie provides critical habitat in the middle of the city for migratory birds, monarch butterflies, and dwindling native bee populations.