Bill Neiman
Biography

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Bill Neiman started his first company, Neiman Environments Landscape Construction Company, in 1974 when he was nineteen years old. He borrowed a shovel, a rake, and lawn mower and advertised in the local garbage collector's monthly billings offering "total outdoor care." Six years later the company was big enough to take on large-scale commercial projects. From 1979 to 1990, Bill also operated Neiman's Native Plant Nursery in Flower Mound, Texas, one of the first outlets for native plants in the North Central Texas area. He also farmed numerous sites certified by the Texas Department of Agriculture for organic food and seed production.

In 1989, Native American Seed was formed to specialize in the harvest and sale of wildflower seeds and prairie grasses native to the Texas-Oklahoma-Louisiana bioregion. Each year Native American Seed provides thousands of pounds of wildflower seeds to the Texas Department of Transportation for use in highway beautification programs.

Bill says, "In today's economic realities, the only sensible approach to effective land management is with the use of native species for vegetation. Take a 'holistic' approach; include the conservation and care of all the natural resources including land, water and air, and use organic cultivation methods where possible. Recognize that public education is an integral part of restoring and maintaining the health of the environment, and whenever possible design a significant educational component into the projects you undertake."

The company headquarters was moved in 1995 to Junction, Texas on the western edge of the Texas hill country. Growing operations are being expanded and new opportunities for restoration and education are being pursued.

RESTORATION PROJECTS

Parkhill Prairie, Collin County, Texas. Restoration work was done on this blackland prairie northeast of the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex during the late 1980's. This project was funded by a cooperative effort of the voters of Collin County, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and the Texas Nature Conservancy. Neiman Environments, Inc. was chosen to custom harvest native seeds from nearby prairie remnants and to conduct site preparation and planting at Parkhill.

IBM Corporation, The Colony, Texas. Neiman Environments, Inc. implemented a long-term restoration of approximately 1100 acres of waste farm land owned by IBM. It was prepared and planted to native prairie grasses, wildflowers and trees. Project began in 1987, and ongoing long-term management of the land continued until 1997 when the land base was sold for urban development.

Thomsen Foundation, Montague County, Texas. 1990-1993. C.J. Thomsen dedicated this 300 acre site in the Western Cross Timbers (prairie/savanna) for study and education of native grasses, wildflowers and plants. Neiman Environments, Inc. was selected to handle design, implementation, and long term management of the large scale grassland areas and many of the wildflower areas. Bill Neiman annually leads fifth grade student field trips to the Foundation.

U.S. Department of Energy, Superconducting SuperCollider, Waxahachie, Texas. In 1992 Neiman Environments, Inc. was chosen to develop a twenty year land management plan covering the 8000 acres acquired for the SuperCollider project. The plan included a proposal for the largest prairie restoration project ever undertaken, the creation of a major public education program, and the set-aside of sites to explore the possibilities of sustainable agricultural practices. Custom harvesting of local prairie remnants and planting on the SSC site was accomplished prior to the decommissioning of the project by the U.S. Congress.

W.R. Grace Corporation, Blue Mound, Texas. In 1991, Neiman Environments, Inc. undertook reclamation of this 28-acre site that had been previously used as a dumping ground. This ongoing project under Neiman's leadership was developed in coordination with students and teachers from the nearby elementary school, and serves as an "outdoor classroom." In 1993 it won a national award for excellence in developing environmental curriculum for grades K-5. The project was featured in a television documentary by the Nickelodeon channel in 1995 and '96. Neiman continues the educational concepts of this project through a working grant with the Rainwater Foundation of Fort Worth, Texas.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge, Lake Arthur, Louisiana. This Coastal Prairie Restoration project will eventually contain up to 11,000 acres of depleted rice farms in the long-term plan. The first 220 acres of the Duralde Prairie was planted in 1998 by Neiman Environments, Inc. with custom harvests by Native American Seed from a globally imperiled Gulf Coast prairie.

PUBLIC SPEAKING AND MEDIA EXPERIENCE

Texas Speaking engagements
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Texas Garden Clubs
Fort Worth Botanical Gardens
Society for Ecological Restoration
Native Plant Society of Texas
Dallas Organic Gardening Club
Denton County Historical Museum
Denton Ecology Club, Mother Earth Seminar (opening address)
United Methodist Church of Saginaw, "Soil Conservation Sunday" sermon
Keep Texas Beautiful annual statewide meeting
Bell County Agents Garden Convention
Denton Organic Society
Ft. Worth Organic Society
University of North Texas Institute of Environmental Sciences
University of Texas at Arlington Institute for Technology Transfer
Society for Ecological Restoration International Conference (keynote speaker)

Radio & Television
Several appearances on WBAP, Howard Garrett's "Natural Way"
"Central Texas Gardener" (Austin TV) -- 20-minute segment
Several appearances on KLBJ-Austin, Texas John Dromgoole show
Numerous Dallas-Fort Worth TV news spots covering restoration projects

PAST & PRESENT AFFILIATIONS

Native Prairie Association of Texas
Native Plant Society of Texas
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Society for Ecological Restoration - Regional Vice President
Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) Llano River Advisory Panel
Upper Blackland Bioregional Congress
Soil and Water Conservation Society
Texas Association of Nurserymen
Texas Association of Landscape Contractors
Licensed Texas Irrigator #819
Texas Organic Growers Association, vice-president
Texas Department of Agriculture Certified Organic Farms
Denton County Horticulture Committee, past president
The Mound Foundation (Flower Mound, Texas), past president
Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association
Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, Small Business Advisory Committee

 


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