Operation NICE!™ is an official program which is being adopted by a growing number of participating chapters. NICE! is an acronym for “natives instead of common exotics.”
The goal of the program to increase supply and demand for Texas native plants. Each local Operation NICE!™ program creates its own list of Plant of the Month (POM) plants (in some chapters a Plant of the Season) in cooperation with wholesalers in order to assure availability, and in cooperation with participating local nurseries. The Native Plant Society of Texas then helps promote the Plant of the Month through newspaper articles, posters at the point of sale and other means. Usually an information sheet on the plant is availalble at the nursery along with care and planting instructions.
Plant availability is determined by contacting local wholesalers. This results in the selection of plants that are currently available in quantities in sufficient sizes and number to supply the participating nurseries. These quantities will vary depending on the type of plant – perennial vs. tree, for instance.
Operation NICE!™ started out in the Boerne Chapter when members there saw a need to educate the public about which plants are native to their region. Their hope was that people would then request these plants from their local nurseries. Demand for the plants would encourage nurseries and wholesalers to seek out and supply native plants.
Texas is a big state and plants selected for one region may not always be the right choice in a different region. Therefore plants selected for Operation NICE! often differ from one area to another.
To learn more about Operation NICE! in your own area visit the website of the local chapter nearest you. Following is a list of chapters with Operation NICE! programs and links to their websites, where you can find contact information and other details.
- Boerne (Kendall County)
- Collin County
- Fredericksburg (Gillespie County)
- Guadalupe County
- Highland Lakes
- Kerrville (Kerr County)
- Lindheimer (Comal County)
- North Central Texas (Tarrant County)
- San Antonio (Bexar County)
- Trinity Forks (Denton County)
- Tyler (Smith County)