APF x Cedars International: Understanding Park Ecology

Taylor Wiseman APF News, Blog Page, Parks, People + Parks, Support Our Parks

Earlier this year, APF had the opportunity to work with seniors from Cedars International High School to create a social media campaign geared toward better understanding park ecology. Two of Mr. Carroll’s Natural Science classes explored the relationship between parks, ecology and us.
Over the next few weeks we will update our blog as this series is rolled out. Be sure to check back each week to learn about a new topic!

Austin’s Native Plants

Lorenzo, Joseline and Dulce researched native plants that thrive in Austin. They focused on three plants that are easy to care for year-round and provide food and shelter for wildlife habitats!


Jackie and Maliza dug into the benefits of mulch in gardens and parks. Learn how mulch can help earthworms, plants and trees!

Companion Planting and Composting

Jaden, Siler and Joseph researched companion planting and composting! They added in some tips and tricks to get started with both – take a look!

Invasive Species and their Effect

Alex, Luci and Allison chose to look at how Ligustrum, an invasive plant, harms and changes an ecosystem when it’s allowed to grow.

This plant causes a lot of problems. Here at APF we strive to eradicate Ligustrum as often as possible through open workdays and projects during It’s My Park Day!

Blue-Green Algae

Ainsley and Dalia sought to better understand what Blue-Green Algae is and alert people to its effects.

Links to local articles:

Reishi Fungus

Sabine, Braden and Kaleob took a look at what Reishi Fungus is and why it’s important.

How can fungi help our Austin parks?

Reishi Fungus is a great tool for weakening trees before removing them, especially trees invasive to the Austin ecosystem! The invasive species, Japanese Privet, out competes other native plants like bushes and trees. Its fast growth also contributes to wildfires.

Of course, the best way to keep this tree out of our ecosystem is to not plant it in the first place! If you’re looking for safe alternatives to Japanese Privet, try Texas Privet and Limerock Arrowwood which both have a similar bushy look but are NATIVE to Texas.

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Endangered Species

Zaria, Tyler and Sonia wanted to better understand two of Austin’s endangered species – the Barton Springs Salamander and the Golden Cheeked Warbler!

Learn about how we can protect these species habitats and ensure they’re around for years to come.


Barton Springs Salamander

Golden Cheeked Warbler


Aline and Debra found that landscaping is more than just a pretty lawn…there are benefits to landscaping that help our native species thrive!