What is Half-Pint?
Half-Pint Prairie is a pocket Blackland prairie located west of the Student Services Building.
Blackland prairies are an endangered ecosystem in Texas. They once covered much of what is now know as East-Central Texas from North of San Antonio all the way to the Red River. However, today less than 0.1% of the prairie remains.
The invasion of land that belongs to the Wichita, Tonkawa, Pamaya, Caddo, Comanche, Coahuiltecan, and others by settlers catalyzed this collapse. Upon their arrival, settlers sought to destroy the relationship that sustained both people and prairie through forced displacement and on-going genocide. With the removal of Indigenous people, the periodic burns and cyclical buffalo grazing necessary for a healthy prairie were suppressed.
The settlers brought with them an economic system that justified this violence. In the following centuries they overgrazed the grasses, converted diverse prairies into monoculture crops, and built cities dependent upon extractive industries.
We do not believe that we can approach the phenomena of ecological destruction through merely an environmental lens. The conception that some problems are environmental while others are economic, social, or cultural undermines our ability to create a society in which justice is sought on all fronts.
The Half-Pint Prairie team is dedicated to creating awareness and organizing around these issues. The prairie serves as a critical educational tool in which we can collaboratively envision a world that has not been marred by inequity and work towards that end.
Our work includes:
- Deprogramming colonial norms around short, turfgrass, English lawns.
- The typical green grass front yard has to go. They use more water and resources than native plants, sequester less carbon, and provide inferior support to nonhuman life.
- Enabling others to forge their own relationships with local ecologies through mindful practices
- Observing plants is an opportunity to practice mindfulness, connect with the soil, and engage in a healing process for both you and the Earth.
- Providing people first environmental programming
- Discussions about the environment should be centered on peoples’ lived experiences, not economic production or inaccessible -ologies.