What is Half-Pint?
Half-Pint Prairie is a Green Fund project to establish a pocket Blackland Prairie on campus next to the Student Services Building.
Blackland Prairie once spanned much of East-Central Texas from North of San Antonio through Austin to the Red River. However, due to unsustainable development, less than 0.01% of the original prairie remains—making it the most endangered ecoregion in North America. Prairies like those found in Texas’ Blackland are wells of biodiversity. One square meter of prairie has been found to have 89 different species of plants in it! Additionally, the native plants’ deep roots store carbon, prevent erosion, and enrich the soil. While prairies are on the decline, they can and should play an important role in the solution to the climate crisis.
Cities are built environments in which many variables are determined by humans. The livability of these cities is determined by the way these cities are designed. Where are the homes located? What else are they near? Who has access to green spaces? Are we doing our best to cultivate human interaction? Half-Pint seeks to explore these questions of spatial justice and present sustainable solutions.
Who We Are
The Half-Pint team demonstrates the efficacy of small-scale environmental action and champion institutional changes like increased usage of native plants in the campus landscape. Half-Pint addresses the urgent need to save disappearing ecosystems like Blackland Prairies and to think critically about how we can create equitable and just communities. We are a team of students led by Jack Rouse and Mark DeGraff (more about us here). We embrace multidisciplinary solutions to questions of environmental justice that incorporate our understanding of ecology and the importance of the built environment.
More about Prairies
- A map of the remaining Blackland Prairies
- A Blackland Prairie plant list
- An educator’s guide to Blackland Prairies
- Browse research about the relationship between health and nature
- A native bee identification guide
- The Tallgrass Prairie Center resources
- Project WILD resources
- How to use iNaturalist
More about Half-Pint
- Half-Pint Urban Prairie Seeding Sustainable Future – The Central Texas Gardener
- Students plant prairie, make campus more sustainable – The Daily Texan
- Breaking Ground on Blackland Prairie – The Office of Sustainability
- Jemez Principles for democratic organizing
- Children in Nature Collaborative of Austin’s recommended readings on racial equity in outdoor and environmental leadership
Want to collaborate or just learn more? Send an email to email@example.com.