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Facts About the TNMP Discovery Garden
collage of garden pictures from July, 2014

The Discovery Garden in West Columbia, TX

The TNMP Discovery Garden was created in the Spring of 2014 with a grant from Texas New Mexico Power and landscaped by Wells Nursery and Landscape. It is located in the northeast corner of First Capitol Park near the pond. First Capitol Park is located near the Varner-Hogg Plantation State Historic Site (1702 N 13th St).

The vision of the TNMP Discovery Garden is that it will be used as a model for Phase I of a larger botanical garden/arboretum to be planted in the park. The Discovery Garden will be a model for community involvement to improve the overall beautification of the City of West Columbia.

Benefits of a City Garden

Benefits of Flowering Plants

Flowers, shrubs, and trees beautify and help draw customers to shopping districts and reduce shopper stress. They boost apartment and commercial building occupancy rates, increase revenue for tourism, create local jobs, and increase property values. They even reduce costs of street repairs from reduced temperatures due to shade. Plants enhance civic pride. They sequester carbon (to reduce the impact of Global Warming), generate oxygen, attract wildlife, enhance biodiversity, offset heat islands, reduce air, noise, and glare pollution. Plants mitigate soil erosion and storm water runoff, minimize wind damage (this is important for us since we are vulnerable to hurricanes), reduces energy use, and boosts the economy.

Peer-reviewed research has documented that plants improve people’s ability to concentrate in the work environment. Children learn faster and are less distracted in flower and plant-filled environments. Flowers have even been documented to reduce stress levels and hypertension and to ease the effects of ADD.

Read more in the references listed in Resources.

Benefits of Trees

The Arbor Day Foundation reports that trees increase property values by 15%, scrub the air of pollutants, produce oxygen, and provide shelter for wildlife. 

Shade trees cool homes and neighborhoods. Trees on the north side of homes lower heating bills by providing a wind break. Fruit trees provide food.

The Houston Area Urban Forestry Council reports that trees on the east, west, & south sides of buildings cut cooling costs by 50%.

Again, read more in the references in Resources.

A Special Note about Volunteers

Want to be a part of this project? Suggestions and activities for students and families are needed and welcomed. It takes a considerable amount of time to weed, trim, prune, and water the garden. Volunteers are needed for these and other activities associated with the garden. Volunteer, suggest, or donate.

A special thanks goes to Sam Stamport for his voluntary assistance in conceiving the garden, writing the grant request to TNMP, and developing many of the web pages associated with the garden during the initial stages of the garden's development. Additionally, he occasionally weeds and waters the Discovery Garden.

A special thanks goes also to Valerie and Wayne Coskrey who assisted Sam with the photos and writing the web pages. Valerie, a retired teacher, wrote the initial set of Activities for the Discovery Garden.

City of West Columbia • PO Box 487 • West Columbia, TX 77486 • (979) 345-3123 •
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