Boosting the Buckhorn Buffer Zone

The Social Innovation Lab at JPII is collaborated with the City of Plano and its non-profit partners, Texas Conservation Alliance, and One Earth One Chance, to research and prototype ways to increase awareness among Plano residents of the benefits of native plants. The project aligns with the following goals and objectives detailed in the City’s “Parks, Recreation, Trails & Open Space Master Plan.”

  • Renovate and modernize park infrastructure so that they offer similar elements across the city but are unique to the surrounding area. A “key recommendation” to meet this goal is to “utilize native landscaping” wherever possible.
  • Utilize environmentally and fiscally sustainable practices for developing and maintaining parks, trails, and facilities.
    • Incorporate native plants in parks, along trails, and in open space areas.

The project takes advantage of the newly planted buffer zone along Pittman Creek in Buckhorn Park, leveraging the installation as a “sandbox” for ideas and experimentation. The area had recently been cleared as a staging area for the construction of gabion walls on the other side of the creek. Thanks to support from Texas Conservation Alliance and One Earth One Chance, the City is able to restore the buffer zone with new plants.

City of Plano

Students & Faculty

Project Goals

  • Increase awareness about the benefits of using native plants in landscaping: The project will design various ways of using the new buffer zone installation to get park-goers attention and prompt further action.
  • Generate insights for future projects: A successful project will result in actionable insights about how residents interact with their natural environment in public places that can be applied throughout the city.
  • Educate high school students about their environmental ecosystem: Through hands-on experience, students will become knowledgeable advocates for the objectives of the Park Master plan.
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More about JPII's Social Innovation Lab (SIL)

At JPII, we recognize our world’s social problems are becoming increasingly complex; so too are the answers for solving these social problems. Where traditional problem-solving strategies have become ineffective, we are challenged to look at issues through different lenses.

Through the Social Innovation Lab (SIL), students work alongside community partners in developing and implementing these solutions. Students further develop their skills in research and writing, problem-solution design, public speaking, organization, and project management. This unique class offers students the opportunity to examine their impact on social, economic, and environmental challenges in the real world today.

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This must be conducted in person at JPIIHS after above steps have been completed. An appointment can be scheduled by contacting Bill Symon. The following are the policies for which acknowledgement is required:

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(800) 252-5400 (if an emergency call 911)


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Diocesan Director of Safe Environment

(214) 379-2812

Contact at JPIIHS

Rounded Corners Catholic School John Paul II High School Faculty and Staff

Director of Human Resources

(469) 229-5103

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