BEES (Brazoria Environmental Education Station) is the official name of the Brazoria County Master Gardeners Association (BCMGA) facility. BEES includes flower and vegetable gardens, a green house, training areas and support facilities.
Brazoria County Master Gardener members volunteer work days every Tuesday and Friday morning from 9 am to noon at BEES. The public is typically welcome to visit during these times and at special public events. Contact the Brazoria County AgriLife Extension office to arrange a personal tour of the facility: 979-864-1558.
BEES Location: 583 East Hospital Drive, Angleton, TX 77515 United States; click the link to map it: + Google Map
Education Station Chronological History:
1995 – The Brazoria County Master Gardener program began without a place to call home. Master Gardener groups usually start demonstration gardens around their county AgriLife Extension office. The offices in Angleton share a small space with very little room for a garden center. The Master Gardeners temporarily worked around the Brazoria County Fairgrounds for several years, still looking for a place to call home.
2000 – County Extension Agent Paula Craig found an unused greenhouse with a attached office at the Texas A&M Research Station right down the road in Angleton. After extensive discussions, the Master Gardeners had a place to call home to build their gardens. First came cleaning, painting and general repairs to buildings that had not been used for ten years. Then programs were begun putting in test beds for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension to demonstrate “easy care” and “water smart” gardening.
2003 – In May, TAMU closed down the Angleton Research Station and allowed Brazoria County Master Gardeners to stay on the property. By this time, Master Gardeners had managed to have money available due to annual plant sales and other fund raisers to buy gardening equipment to improve the flower and vegetable beds. To meet the Master Gardeners purpose to educate the public about what grows well in Brazoria County with a minimum care and to use the learned techniques, we began holding seminars, giving garden tours and encouraging people to visit.
2004 – Brazoria County Master Gardeners began two new major projects – installation of the Tropical and Herb Gardens. Both were completed just in time for the 2004 White Christmas. Either God loved the gardens or it was Aggie luck, but very few plants were lost.
2006 – Brazoria County Master Gardeners held a contest to name center – the winning entry was “Education Station”. Other new projects included:
- The Native Garden was installed.
- The Tropical Garden was expanded with Phase Two (Phase One ran out of room).
- A very large Demonstration Vegetable Garden was planned for spring planting. However, bed preparation was delayed due to tractor mechanical problems and a very wet spring and summer. A few plants were planted by mid summer – just enough to get everyone excited for next spring.
- A Drainage Improvement Project was started by cutting drainage ditches and hauling in fill dirt to raise elevations.
2007 – The MGs continued working on making improvements to the gardens. The annual training class, Spring Plant Sale, speaking engagements and open houses were all well attended.
- Although the large Vegetable Garden drainage was improved in 2006, the garden remained too wet for tilling during the spring and early summer from constant rain. In late July the rains stopped and the garden dried enough for tilling. Plots were assigned and a section of watermelons were planted. However, the rains soon returned and a great crop of Nutgrass popped up.
- The Dow Chemical Company awarded a $5000 grant to install a Rain Water Harvesting System. Working with the Brazoria County AgriLife Extension offices, the system was designed to collect water from the roofs of various buildings on the property.
- The nonprofit First Choice Power Fund awarded a $5000 grant to BCMGA for projects to benefit youth education programs. In partnership with the Cradle of Texas Master Naturalists, the grant was awarded to install an outdoor classroom with wetland, woodland and coastal prairie learning areas, a 100 seat amphitheater and a computerized weather station.