LCRA, City of Goldthwaite award $25,000 grant to Goldthwaite botanical gardens

New rainwater catchment system will irrigate native plant demonstration garden

June 1, 2023

LCRA and City of Goldthwaite representatives present a $25,000 grant to the Texas Botanical Gardens and Native American Interpretive Center to buy and install a rainwater catchment system. The grant is part of LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program. Pictured from left to right, in the front row, are: Fredda Dobelbower, botanical gardens welcome center greeter; Ramona Flores, Goldthwaite mayor pro tem; Susan Reynolds, botanical gardens executive director; and Carol Freeman, Margaret D. “Meg” Voelter, Nancy Eckert Yeary and Michael L. “Mike” Allen, LCRA Board members. Middle row, from left: Elita Witty, botanical gardens treasurer; Suzanne Smith, botanical gardens board member; Martha Leigh M. Whitten, LCRA Board member; Jett Johnson, Mills County judge; Brody Stacy, botanical gardens president; Savannah Early, garden manager; and Steve Dyer, LCRA Regional Affairs representative. Back row, from left: John Judd, Invenergy site manager; Tommy Head, botanical gardens vice president; Haverde Warner, botanical gardens past president; and Tim Early, Goldthwaite Chamber of Commerce executive director.

GOLDTHWAITE, Texas – The Texas Botanical Gardens and Native American Interpretive Center will buy and install a rainwater catchment system to irrigate a native plant garden that will highlight water-wise landscaping best practices, thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Lower Colorado River Authority and the City of Goldthwaite. The Community Development Partnership Program grant, along with $11,995 in matching funds from another grant and private donors, will pay for the purchase and installation of a rainwater catchment and irrigation system, including a 13,812-gallon tank, rain gutters and screens, and pump components. “Our gardens go much deeper than beautification projects – we want to take what we have learned and show people how they can use native plants in a residential setting,” said Susan Reynolds, executive director of the botanical gardens. “Many people think planting and keeping native plants might be too difficult for them, so we plan to remove that fear by showing them beautiful low-water landscapes that aren’t complicated to create and maintain.” Because the project will be highly visible in the heart of downtown Goldthwaite, the public education aspect of the project isn’t going to wait until the rainwater catchment system is in place and the plants are mature, Reynolds said. “We are going to start showing people how they can replicate our rainwater system and native landscaping every step of the way,” Reynolds said. “As we go through the process, we are also going to talk about raised beds, soil preparation, irrigation, the benefits of low-water use for our water tables, and everything else along the way.” Signs, brochures and presentations will include details about the plants, their water needs and other information necessary for a successful native landscape. “We are so excited about putting together this project in a tangible way that allows people to see it up close, learn from it, and take away things they can successfully use at home – both for people within our community and those farther away because we have visitors come from all over Central Texas to hear our speakers and see our presentations,” Reynolds said. “Goldthwaite is a microcosm of our whole state. It isn’t a flashy big city, but we have the same needs and concerns as environmentally conscious people all over Texas.” The Texas Botanical Gardens and Native American Interpretive Center offers educational programming for children and adults through field trips, presentations and interactive hands-on experiences. The botanical gardens also offer scheduled guided group tours, and a pavilion in the gardens is available to rent for events. The community grant is one of 34 grants awarded recently through LCRA’s Community Development Partnership Program, which helps volunteer fire departments, local governments, emergency responders and nonprofit organizations fund capital improvement projects in LCRA’s wholesale electric, water and transmission service areas. The program is part of LCRA’s effort to give back to the communities it serves. The City of Goldthwaite is one of LCRA’s wholesale electric customers and is a partner in the grant program. Applications for the next round of grants will be accepted in July. More information is available at

About LCRA
The Lower Colorado River Authority serves customers and communities throughout Texas by managing the lower Colorado River; generating and transmitting electric power; providing a clean, reliable water supply; and offering outdoor adventures at more than 40 parks along the Colorado River from the Texas Hill Country to the Gulf Coast. LCRA and its employees are committed to fulfilling our mission to enhance the quality of life of the Texans we serve through water stewardship, energy and community service. LCRA was created by the Texas Legislature in 1934 and receives no state appropriations. For more information, visit

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