Project type: Invasive Species Control
Scout Name: Matt L.
Unit: Troop 399 Austin, Texas
Project Location: Statewide
Partner Organization: Hon. Donna Howard, Texas House of Representatives
My project was to introduce legislation that would educate the consumer about the benefits of native species.
HB 2008 requires nurseries to display, or make available to the customer, a state produced brochure. Since the brochure is offered by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, it will not cost the store additional funds. This brochure’s primary function is to educate the consumer about how native plant species are less harmful to the environment, use less water, and allow local wildlife to thrive. This bill will not affect the business of the stores because this bill is only educating consumers, not preventing them from buying plants. Also, the brochure will not cost the stores any money because the brochure is produced by the state.
I know from personal experience that providing a state-produced brochures does not cause an economic burden to a business. My father is an OBGYN physician who is required to make available to his patients a state-produced brochure which educates them about cord blood donation. The brochure educates his patients but allows them to make their own decisions.
I would like to stress that this bill is to educate the public, not to create an economic burden to the nurseries. As my research, I interviewed local nursery managers of two nationwide home improvement stores. If these large stores were to be required to provide a public education brochure on native plant species, would they be able to provide the plants consumers may request as a result of the newfound knowledge? I found out that the stores do possess the flexibility to order native plants to keep the business of educated consumers who might request them. The stores could help educate consumers and still meet the consumers’ needs by providing plants upon request.
In conclusion, our state faces terrible drought conditions. The public is bombarded with messages about conserving water. Since the public is already educated about saving water, now we need to educate the consumer about native plants that would help them save water.
I urge the members of this committee to support House Bill 2088 so that consumers may be better educated about the use of native plants.
Thank you very much for your time.