Even though it is the darkest and coldest season of the year, the Neighborhood Life Office, the Rowlett Code Officers and Keep Rowlett Beautiful are delighted to announce the winner of the Fall 2018 Texas Smart Yard Award. This is the best time for us to research and learn all about the smart landscaping ideas that we can incorporate into our yards when the sun begins to warm the earth again. The Rowlett Texas Smart Yard Award recognizes Rowlett residents whose yards are in harmony with the Texas native flora, soil, and topography. These smart practices help residents save on electricity, water, and sewer costs, as well as, support our local ecosystems.
The winners for fall 2018 are Bouna and Joann Diop. They have created a garden oasis for their family, as well as, for all of our local pollinators. They actually raise Monarch butterflies each year to help keep the species thriving as they migrate through our area. The Diops were nominated by their next door neighbor and Texas Naturalist, Cindy Ling.
The Diops have built a landscape “that is both environmentally friendly and beautiful at the same time.” They use organic soil and mulch which help retain moisture in the summer and prevent heat loss in the winter. They also compost which provides organic matter they use to enrich their soil. By creating a yard that helps reduce stormwater runoff, they are improving their entire neighborhood. The Diops have reduced the flat areas of their yard by creating multiple plant beds, a vegetable garden and they have just installed a rainwater harvesting system. These green practices help reduce flooding, prevent standing water in the streets and stormwater pipe clogs. This helps keep City Public Works cost down and saves money for all Rowlett residents.
The most amazing aspect of our visit with Bouna and Joann was their passion for raising Monarch Butterflies caterpillars. They have many pollinator preferred plants in their yard, including Sunflowers, Cone Flowers, dill, and parsley. They have also planted beds of native Milkweed for their caterpillars. All of these sustainable, cost-saving practices help support and maintain water, shelter, and food for our insect, bird and small animal wildlife. The Diops are not only good neighbors in their neighborhood, but they are also good neighbors to their ecosystem too!