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What Goes Into the Wildflower Show on Texas Highways?

The miles and miles of wildflowers blooming along Texas highways aren't an ‘accident.’ The state, particularly the Texas Department of Transportation, works to encourage wildflower growth across Texas. Dennis Markwardt has spent more than 30 years with TxDOT and has championed the use of wildflowers along the highways. He’ll discuss TxDOT’s role in creating a wildflower bonanza each spring and summer during the Highland Lakes Birding and Wildflower Society meeting April 4. Courtesy photo

Learn what goes on behind the scenes of the vibrant wildflower show along Texas highways each season.

Dennis Markwardt, the Texas Department of Transportation director of Vegetation Management for Maintenance, will present “TxDOT’s Wildflower Program” during the Highland Lakes Birding and Wildflower Society meeting, which is 9:30 a.m. Thursday, April 4, in the Burnet County AgriLife Extension Office, 607 N. Vandeveer St. in Burnet. The event is free and open to the public.

TxDOT manages and maintains over a million acres of highway right of way across the state. Markwardt has more than 30 years' experience in vegetation management for TxDOT and helped develop the wildflower seeding mixes used in the varied Texas landscapes and climes.

As a result of these efforts, the Lone Star State has the most recognized spring wildflower show in the nation, attracting people from around the world.

The April 4 meeting is a great opportunity to hear Markwardt’s insights on wildflowers and how the state uses them.

Before the meeting at 8:15 a.m., the group will hold a bird walk led by expert birders. Participants should gather in the southeast end of the parking lot of Haley-Nelson Park, 1624 Texas 29. Wear walking shoes and dress for the weather. If you have them, bring binoculars, a camera, and a field guide or a phone with a birding app. Visitors and novice birders are welcome.

The society meets the first Thursday of the month from September through June.

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