AUSTIN – The Botanical Research Institute of Texas and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department expand areas of their collaboration with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today formalizing the two organizations’ commitment to plant conservation, exploration, and education.
The MOU creates a collaborative working relationship that advances plant conservation and programs that will educate the public about the importance of maintaining wild spaces for the health and well-being of people in Texas.
Included in the agreement, both organizations will
Support the Texas Conservation Action Plan,
Strengthen their collaborative outreach and educational activities,
Create training curricula to improve field identification and documentation of native plant species, and
Collaborate on providing outdoor education, exhibit development, and interpretive media projects and other services to state parks and state natural areas.
“What makes this collaboration so important is that we’re not just getting one botanist to help identify rare plants, we’re getting BRIT’s full complement of research botanists and environmental educators to work with us.” said Carter Smith, executive director of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “Our partnership with BRIT helps us keep our commitment to Texas’ wild things and wild places.”
Collaborative programs are already underway. One such program involves examining the distributions of 10 rare Texas plants and providing training materials for citizen scientists to go in the field and look for new populations.
“As the newest Texas member of the Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) organization, BRIT’s goal of documenting and protecting rare native plants is paramount,” says Dr. Ed Schneider, BRIT’s executive director. “Our research and education work with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department ensures that these plants will be discovered, protected, and appreciated by future generations of Texans.”
About the Botanical Research Institute of Texas
The Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT®) is a non-profit, international research and education center that collects and safeguards plant specimens, studies and protects living plants, and teaches about the importance of conservation and biodiversity to the world.
BRIT’s scientists and educators work together in achieving the organization’s two-fold mission of conservation and education. Its scientists travel the globe investigating habitats, finding rare and endangered plant species, and documenting biodiversity. BRIT educators create new ways to turn information into knowledge through outdoor discovery, discussion, and experiential learning for both students and teachers.
BRIT’s work impacts our community and the world in several functional areas, including environment, by giving people a local sense of stewardship; society, by training a new generation of thinkers and problem solvers; and conservation, by offering methods for better stewardship of the land.
BRIT is open to the public Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on the first Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to noon. Admission is free. For more information, visit http://www.brit.org.
Photo Caption: TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith (left) and BRIT Executive Director Dr. Ed Schneider sign MOU establishing a working relationship between the two resource conservation agencies. Photo by Chase Fountain/Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Photo Editors: Images associated with this news release are available on the TPWD Web site (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/news_images/).