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ALL PRAIRIE ENTHUSIASTS!  REGISTER & ATTEND OUR FREE “Wildlife and Grasslands Restoration Workshop” Lunch will be provided. All are welcome for all or a…

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Our Blog includes the Report filed by Leigh Ann Ellis.

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The Fort Worth NPAT Chapter Saturday, 1pm to 6pm!Enjoy the fall afternoon touring the beautiful

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Prairie Facts

Native Plant Society of Texas Meeting

Thursday, February 20 Membership Meeting at the Houston Arboretum and Nature Center in Memorial Park at 4501 Woodway Drive, Houston, TX 77024

    7:00 pm   Meet, Social Time, Refreshments

    7:30 pm   Speaker: Lisa Gray, Houston Chronicle Writer

Greening the news: How can you encourage media coverage of ecology in general, and native-plant issues in particular? Why are some stories covered in far more depth than others? How did the Deer Park prairie capture the public imagination? Who should you call when a story is breaking? And how does the changing media business affect coverage?

Please join us for this enlightening talk from Lisa! We will have refreshments and door prizes and would love to see you there!

More about Lisa: When Lisa Gray came to Houston in 1984, as a Rice undergraduate, she never expected to stay. Since then, she’s worked for the Houston Press, Washington City Paper and Cite Magazine. Her writing has appeared in Bloomberg Business Week, People, Slate, Elle, O at Home and the anthology Literary Houston. Since 2005, she’s worked for the Houston Chronicle, at jobs that have included arts editor and member of the editorial board. Until Feb. 2, she wrote a column that covered the things that give Houston a sense of place.

Visit Native Plant Society of Texas’s website.

Katy Prairie Conservancy Presents January Wild West Tour



Join in the fun for Owl Prowl and Coyote Howl on January 24!

HOUSTON (January 10, 2014) –  You can stargaze and get a glimpse of nocturnal creatures in a peaceful nighttime setting on the Katy Prairie at Katy Prairie Conservancy’s (KPC) first Wild West Tour of the year on Jan. 24.

Join Master Naturalist and birding expert Glenn Olsen for a twilight tour of the prairie from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. at “Owl Prowl and Coyote Howl.” He will lead the group out onto KPC preserves to search for great horned owls, screech owls, barn owls, short-eared owls and maybe even some coyotes. The event includes a light dinner and requires advance registration.

“Our Wild West Tours are extremely popular with adults of all ages,” says Mary Anne Piacentini. “They combine entertainment and education to make for memorable experiences.  Glenn Olsen is a treasure and always provides fascinating commentary and insights about wildlife on the prairie.”

Cost for the Wild West Tour is $50 per person, and a portion of that fee goes toward funding KPC educational programs. Tours start at Indiangrass Preserve, 31950 Hebert Road, in Waller, where participants will meet at KPC’s field office. To register for the Wild West Tour, go to katyprairie.org and click on the “Visit” tab to find “events.”

The Katy Prairie Conservancy is a nonprofit land trust dedicated to preserving an ecologically vital tallgrass prairie and associated wetlands area on Houston’s far west side for the enjoyment and benefit of all. 

Contact: Christine Mansfield, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), 713-523-6135 or Carol Brejot, 713-503-3885, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Houston Chapter - Native Prairies Association of Texas (HNPAT)

Coming on February 27:

Mardi Grass: Flora of the Famous Cajun Prairie in Deer Park Texas by Jason Singhurst (TPWD)

Grab your Krewe and some beads in on February 27 and join us to celebrate Mardi Grass: Flora of the Famous Cajun Prairie in Deer Park Texas presented by Botanist and Author Jason Singhurst of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.  6:30 p.m. party time; 7:00 p.m. Mardi Grass starts. 3015 Richmond Ave. 77057.


Houston Chapter, Native Prairies Association of Texas

ANYONE may subscribe to the HNPAT email list by sending requests to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with subject “Subscribe to HNPAT.“Your email will only be passed on to NPAT, the new owners to be of Deer Park Prairie and our parent organization, and no other, and you may unsubscribe from either email list at any time.

News and Events from Katy Prairie Conservancy

Sheena Abernathy from Katy Prairie Conservancy wrote:

KPC Unplugged Adventure: Winter Wings

On Saturday, January 11, 2014 from 10:00 am - 12:30 pm the Winter Wings adventure will offer visitors of all ages a chance to observe the bird life of Warren Lake. Activities include hiking around the lake, viewing birds with spotting scopes, and bird-centered activities. Volunteers are needed to assist with the 45-minute bird hike around the lake.

Where: Matt Cook Memorial Wildlife Viewing Platform @ Warren Lake

Registration: Click here to register

Sierra Club: Katy Prairie Service Outing: Planting Native Grasses & Wildflowers

Saturday, January 11 at 9:00 AM, the Sierra Club will be visiting the Katy Prairie to help with planting grasses and wildflowers at the Indian Grass Preserve. Followed by a hiking opportunity.
Click here for details

WEEKLY ACTIVITIES

Sheldon Lake Prairie Restoration (every Tuesday from 8am – 11:30)

Click here for details.

Prairie Restoration at San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site (every Thursday from 8:30-11:30)


Activities include: Rescue and division, seedling bump-up, invasive treatment and planting. The nursery is located on the battleship side of the park in the Office area.

Prairie Fridays @ Armand Bayou Nature Center (Every Friday at 8:30 am)

Fri, January 10, 8:30am – 11:30am at Armand Bayou Nature Center, 8500 Bay Area Boulevard, Pasadena, TX 77507

MONTHLY ACTIVITIES

Marysee Prairie Work Days (First Saturday of the month)

On Saturday, January 4 from 8 am to 4 pm voluteers are invited to come out and help at the Marysee Prairie in the Big Thicket region. These workdays will be held the first Saturday of every month at 2077 County Road 2077 Hull, TX 77564. Contact Frank Blake or Tom Maddux for more details.

“The Marysee Prairie is one of the last remnants of tallgrass prairie in the Big Thicket region. Come assist the Big Thicket Association in this ongoing effort to revive and maintain the native grasses and wildflowers on this site near Batson, Texas. Work tasks vary by month, but usually involve controlling the regrowth of woody species and keeping the prairie clear for mowing. Tools and gloves provided. For more info and to confirm work dates, contact Tom Maddux at 936-697-3425, or Frank Blake at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 713-528-2896. Works days are the first Saturday of every month.” ~ CEC Website

1st Sat. Refuge Tours - Attwater Prairie Chicken Wildlife Refuge (First Saturday of the month)

Saturday, January 4 will be the next guided refuge tour. The trip is two-hours and includes information about native coastal prairie, the history of the refuge, the biology of the Attwater’s Prairie Chicken, and what is being done to save it from extinction.

Space is limited and reservations are required. Contact the refuge staff to reserve your spot on this interesting tour.

Click here for details.

DIRECTIONS: The refuge headquarters and visitor center is located 6.5 miles northeast of Eagle Lake, TX off of FM 3013, or south from Sealy on Highway 36 to FM 3013 and traveling west for 10 miles. The headquarters is located 2 miles west of the main entrance on FM 3013. lat/long: 29.668827, -96.266751

Katy Prairie Field Day (Second Thursday of the month)
Field Days – Dig the Katy Prairie by helping in our Native Seed Nursery!

Want to get your hands dirty? The second Thursday of each month, from 8 am to 3 pm, KPC hosts Field Days, generally at our Indiangrass Preserve. Volunteers will work in KPC’s Coastal Prairie Native Seed Nursery watering, weeding, and potting seedlings. Occasionally, we work at other locations. Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more details.

Project Blazing Star Workday (Every Second Saturday of the month)

Meet at Pavilion next to 6520 Almeda, Hermann Park’s Bayou Parkland on Sat, January 11, 8:30am – 11:30am. Contact Lan Shen (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))
MONTHLY MEETINGS

Native Plant Society Monthly Meeting (Third Thursday of the month)

On January 16, 2014 from 7:00 pm – 9:30 pm at Houston Arboretum and Nature Center (4501 Woodway Dr Houston, TX 77024)

Houston Chapter-Native Prairies Association of Texas (Fourth Wednesday of the month)

On January 22, 2014 from 6:30 pm – 8:45 pm at Bayland Community Center (6400 Bissonnet St
Houston, TX 77074)


Commons Ford Prairie Restoration Organization Events

Ed Fair wrote:

“I hope that you are enjoying the holidays and the Christmas Bird Counts if you are participating in them.  A couple of pieces of information as noted below:

Prairie Bird Surveys 
We are now ready to schedule the prairie bird surveys for this winter.  We need volunteers who are adept at spotting sparrows and other prairie species, but we can also use volunteers to help us keep the tally and walk the transects.  The surveys take only about 60 - 90 minutes to complete. If you are interested, please let us know which of the following specific dates you would be available.  The surveys will be conducted on three different dates.  We will conduct the surveys on a Saturday or Sunday of the particular weekend depending upon which day we can muster the necessary minimum number of volunteers.  If you have already contacted me, please let me know which dates you are available.  We are hoping to schedule on the following weekends:
January 18/19
February 1/2
February 15/16

Central Texas Gardner 
CTG has completed its production of the feature on the Commons Ford Prairie Restoration Project.  We will provide a link to the schedule soon, but the first airing is on KLRU on Saturday, February 8 at 12:00 PM and 4:00 PM.  The program will also air on several other PBS affiliated stations around the state (and in a few other states as well).

UPDATE:

1.  Prairie Bird Surveys.  Our first survey of the winter is now scheduled for Sunday, January 19.  We could use a couple more people versed in prairie bird (e.g., sparrow) identification and maybe one or two more individuals to assist with keeping the data as we conduct the survey.  The survey will begin at 8:00 AM and will be completed in less than 90 minutes.  The park will be open for casual birding, etc. after we finish.  Please let me know if you have any interest.

2.  Tree Planting.  TreeFolks will be conducting a volunteer tree sapling planting along the riparian edge at Commons Ford on Saturday, January 11 from 9:00 AM to noon.  They need lots of volunteers.  No special skill or background needed, just a willingness to help with an important project.  Visit this link for details.
Thanks for your continued support.

Ed Fair
Commons Ford Prairie Restoration Organization
3532 Bee Caves Rd., Suite 115
Austin, TX 78746
512-329-9802
www.commonsfordpro.blogspot.com
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
www.flickr.com/photos/commonsfordpro

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