Flower Mound's Environmental Services Department created a 1,400-square-foot monarch waystation around Town Hall in 2019. The garden was expanded nearly 400 feet last fall. Courtesy of Flower Mound.

Feb. 23, 2024

I’m a fan of Texas native plants and aware of the importance of growing them in my yard. But many of my friends and neighbors don’t get it. They complain to me about mowing, watering, fertilizing and all the time it takes to maintain their lawns. I don’t argue, I just tell them to look at the town of Flower Mound’s online Gardening for Nature Guide.

Native Plants

The Flower Mound Environmental Services Department created a series of videos on eco-friendly gardening practices, like the one above on Native Plants. Video courtesy of the Town of Flower Mound.


Located eight miles north of DFW Airport, Flower Mound features a real flower mound, formed 66- to 144-million years ago during the Cretaceous Period, according to the Flower Mound Foundation's website. The 50-foot-high Mound once sat in the middle of the Long Prairie, a one by four-mile prairie in the Cross Timbers forest.

The Mound was popular with early pioneers in the 1840s, who used it as a lookout and meeting place. The Wichita Tribe, religious groups and Texas Rangers each gathereed at what is now the intersection of FM 3040 and FM 2499.

The town of Flower Mound wasn’t incorporated until 1961. But the population grew to 75,000 residents by the 2020 census.

Thanks to a conservation-minded resident, the 12-acre Mound escaped being leveled or built upon. 

In the mid 1900s, Otto Consolvo and his wife, Babe, who was of Cherokee heritage, road horses and picnicked at the Mound. They treasured its beauty and understood its vulnerability to development. 

After Babe's death in 1982, Consolvo persuaded the Bellamah Corporation to sell the land to Flower Mound citizens for $10. 

In 1983, the Mound was placed into a permanent land conservancy under the care of the Flower Mound Foundation. A year later, the Texas State Historical Commission approved the Flower Mound as a State of Texas Historic site.

Past chairs of the Flower Mound Foundation include Bill Neiman, a former Flower Mound resident and founder of Native American Seed, and Alton Bowman, who documented the Mound’s history and flora in his 2004 book, The Flower Mound.

Alton Bowman, author of "The Flower Mound," documented the flora on the Mound in his 2004 book. Courtesy of Alton Bowman.


While the Mound itself serves as a beacon of conservation amid development, the city’s Master Plan adopted in 2001, declares the city is committed to preserving “the country atmosphere and natural environment” of the community. On the town’s official website, they tell how “Flower Mound has taken a progressive approach to the ‘green’ movement.” 

The town enacted a SMARTGrowth program in 1999 “to mitigate effects of urbanization, ensure growth does not occur at the expense of environmental quality and preserve open lands, natural landscapes and sensitive ecological resources. 

Resident Tom Kirwan said the city’s conservation-minded Master Plan is what attracted him and his wife to the community, when they moved to DFW from Houston in the late 1990s.

“It had a rural look and feel and a commitment to a plan that said, 'We're going to keep it that way,'” said Kirwan, a member of the Native Plant Society of Texas’s Trinity Forks Chapter and former board member of the Flower Mound Foundation.

In addition to an Open Space Plan, overseen by an Environmental Commission, the city’s Master Plan includes the establishment of the Cross Timbers Conservation Development District, where Kirwan now lives. 

“So [the CTCDD] is a carved out area,” says Matt Woods, director of Environmental Services. “It has different development standards than other sections of the town with the goal of integrating the natural and built environment and preserving the Eastern Cross Timbers region that we're in.”

The 9-square mile overlay is designed for predominantly residential development. Typically, single family homes are built on two-acre lots or greater, in combination with conservation easements and/or other conservation techniques that preserve the Cross Timbers ecosystem and other natural systems.


Flower Mound Pollinator Garden Signage showcases wildlife friendly native plants. Courtesy of the Town of Flower Mound.

In addition to its conservation zoning, like nearby big cities, Flower Mound offers eco-friendly events and programs throughout the year to promote environmental awareness, including an environmental fair, E-waste and household hazardous waste recycling, biannual trash offs and master composter and xeriscaping classes.

In 2019, Flower Mound stepped up its environmental education efforts by hiring Tyler Leverenz as the city’s Environmental Programs Coordinator. She initially focused on reaching out to second and seventh graders in Flower Mound schools in Lewisville ISD. 

Environmental Program Coordinator Tyler Leverenz, left, prepares to film an educational video. Courtesy of the Town of Flower Mound. 

When the Covid Pandemic closed schools, she was motivated to start creating videos and reaching out, not just to students, but to the entire community. She produced a series of three to 10 minute videos explaining Planting for Pollinators, Gardening for Birds and more.

“They were so well received we’ve kept on doing them,” Leverenz says.

Flower Mound resident Kathryn Wells, who has a long list of plant creds — she is a Texas Master Naturalist, Native Plant Society of Texas instructor, Texas Master Gardener Association vice president and a Flower Mound Foundation Board Member — has been featured in several videos. She shares tips on gardening for birds, bees and preparing for winter, among other topics.

Wells was also a commissioner on the Town's Planning and Zoning Commission when the Town's Landscaping Guide was created in 2023. 

Wells said many of her suggestions were incorporated into the Guide. 

“One of our goals was to include North Central Texas native plants and appropriate non-native but adapted plants,” said Wells. “We also eliminated any non-native plants on the Texas Invasives species list.” 

She said the only remaining Texas Invasives species in the Guide is Bermuda grass.

“Another challenge for another day,” said Wells.

Meanwhile, the city has put many of these native and adapted plants on display in demonstration gardens. In 2019, the Environmental Services Department created a 1,400-square-foot pollinator garden around the Town Hall. The certified Monarch Waystation serves an oasis for butterflies migrating through Texas from Mexico to Canada. Last fall, the Department expanded the garden by 360 square feet. 

Using a nearly $500 grant from the Trinity Forks Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas, staff and volunteers planted: frogfruit, duelberg sage, Texas lantana and purple coneflower. They plan to add milkweed plants this spring.

In addition, a joint effort between the Parks and Environmental Services department led to the creation of the Town Arboretum, which is getting Arboretum Certification this year through Arbnet's Morton Registry of Arboreta.

The Flower Mound Arboretum features 24 native and adapted trees and an 1,800-square-foot pollinator garden. Courtesy of the Town of Flower Mound.

The Arboretum features 24 native and adapted trees with signage. And there’s room for more trees to be planted. The green space includes an 1,800-square-foot pollinator garden,

While Flower Mound resident Kirwan believes development is outpacing conservation across DFW, it's efforts by a new generation, like Leverenz and other city staff, that gives Kirwan hope.

“People like Tyler get it,” said Kirwan. "They're young, energetic, knowledgeable people coming out of environmental programs. She’s done more in 10 months, quicker and faster, than I did in 10 years,” he joked. 

Leverenz says having the support of an engaged community has been a boon to the town's efforts.

“We’re very lucky here. We've got a lot of Master Naturalists and Master Gardeners — people that are really interested in the environment and in trying to protect the pieces they can.”

Julie Thibodeaux contributed to this report.


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