*Last entry is an hour before closing


*Last entry is an hour before closing

Urban Ecology Program

Vision & Purpose

To explore the campus and its urban surroundings, investigating a wide array of ecological questions and communicating to the public the opportunity for conducting science in any setting, including our own backyards.

Program/Area Summary

The NE BRIT campus was designed not only to inspire but also to serve as a living research laboratory for ecology and biodiversity science in relation to sustainable landscape design. Both the campus and the surrounding urban environment are well suited for inquiry and exploration. Current and past projects have involved a diverse team spanning Research, Education, Operations, and Horticulture. This program serves as a conduit for promoting campus and urban research and community projects.

Current/Active Projects

Long-Term Goals and Aspirations

  • Connect with permanent/sustainable Education programs to involve the community in real research (e.g., attendees collect data which feed into long-term research projects)
  • Support a minimum of one paid undergraduate student internship annually
  • Support a new full-time masters- or PhD-level Ecologist/Botanist to oversee the program and conduct research, most importantly taking over the Living Roof Project

Examples of Past Projects

  • High Performance Landscapes: research funded by and in conjunction with Government Services Administration, complete as of 2018
  • BRIT Bioretention: once heavily integrated with Education programs, inactive as of 2019,

Current Research

Citizen Science Leads to Discovery of New Wasp Species on Garden Grounds

Many Fort Worth and area residents have explored the Garden for years. They may think they know every corner, every path and every tree. In fact, our own Garden holds many surprises. For example, a new species of gall wasp was recently identified on Garden grounds. The story of the wasp’s discovery has much to tell us about the importance of citizen science, the diversity of life around us and the many mysteries waiting to be uncovered in our own backyards.

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The Living Roof

The urban environment is an ecosystem in itself. With this living roof, BRIT is bringing a functional, native Texas ecosystem back into the built environment. Rather than just looking for plants that can survive in hot environments, BRIT asked the question, “What are the environmental parameters of a roof and what are its analog and native environs?”

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The BRIT Prairie

The purpose of the prairie on the BRIT Landscape is to provide the public a glimpse of the aesthetics of natural or native landscapes, reduce BRIT’s demand for water resources, be a valuable source for research into restoration of prairies in urban environments, and provide a model for habitat restoration and ecological connectivity. The culture of the region arose in the context of prairies.

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