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SFA Gardens

Transformative, real-world learning experiences

SFA Gardens is involved in a variety of research projects designed to solve environmental problems facing Texas communities. These projects provide SFA’s students with opportunities to get out into the field and participate in meaningful, hands-on research, and they also help preserve valuable resources across Texas.

Check out a couple of our projects below:

The Moody Gardens Project

The Moody Gardens Project is a long-term soil and vegetation project that kicked off in 2015. It was developed as a response to Hurricane Ike, a devastating storm that hit the Gulf Coast in 2008.

Objectives and goals of the project include:

  • studying soil and air quality near Moody Gardens’ rainforest pyramid
  • acquiring, evaluating and promoting salt- and hurricane-tolerant plant materials for Galveston Island 
  • public outreach and education initiatives
  • and maintaining a revolving tree and shrub nursery for Moody Gardens.

Read the 2016-2019 Final Report for the Study Evaluating Salt Tolerant Ornamentals for a 21st Century Galveston presented to the Moody Foundation.

Kiwifruit Project

In 2014, SFA made history for growing the first crop of kiwifruit in Texas. The kiwifruit project uses two fruit varieties – AU Golden Dragon and AU Golden Sunshine -- that were developed by Auburn University and Hubei Academy of Agricultural Sciences’ Institute of Fruit and Tea in China. 

Kiwifruit, which is native to China, has been grown successfully in California since the late 1960s – but it has historically failed to thrive in the warm, humid climate in states like Texas, Alabama, and Georgia. The AU Golden Dragon and AU Golden Sunshine cultivars were developed to withstand the heat and humidity. This ongoing project seeks to determine the economic feasibility of adding these delicious fruits to the South’s economic crops.

To learn more – or to purchase Texas-grown kiwifruit by mail – contact Dr. David Creech at


SFA Gardens

Office Address: 2900 Raguet St. 

Mailing Address:
PO Box 13000, SFA Station
Nacogdoches, Texas 75962