REGISTER ONLINE TODAY LIMITED AVAILABILITY Blackland NPAT Chapter’s 2nd Annual Texas Prairies Tour! RISE & SHINE - Saturday - 7am to…Read more of this >>
Native Plant Sales throughout Texas will continue thru Sunday, May 7 NOW is the time to plant native plants in your yard or garden or…Read more of this >>
HNPAT’s Monthly Meeting (*location) Wednesday, From 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. The Secret Life of Prairies HNPAT welcomes Dr. Morgan Russell, Texas A&M Assistant Professor…Read more of this >>
WHEN: Sunday, May 4: 10:00am - 12:00am
WHERE: Chalk Prairie at Granger Lake
WHAT: Plant Survey at Chalk Prairie
Sunday, May 4: 10:00am - 12:00am plant survey at the Chalk Prairie. All are welcome, botanical expertise is not necessary. It would be good if someone wanted to take photographs. We can collect and press specimens. We should be seeing plants flowering that are different from our first visit. Meet at the Chalk Prairie at 10:00am.
WHEN: May 10 and 11
WHERE: Maddin Prairie, near Colorado City in Mitchell County (Register for Directions)
WHAT: Annual breeding Bird Point Count
On the weekend of May 10th and 11th NPAT will hold its annual breeding bird point count at Maddin Prairie Preserve. We will also be counting prairie dogs, horned lizards and butterflies. In addition, we need to do a spring plant inventory. If you would like to help NPAT do this important surveying for monitoring reports and wildlife management of our largest preserve, 1114 acres, then please consider joining us on a field trip to Maddin.
Maddin Prairie Preserve is located in Mitchell County, Texas, near Colorado City just off of Interstate 20. It is within the rolling plains Ecoregion of Texas. Nearly all of the property is restored or native prairie. We typically see many nesting scissor-tailed flycatchers and for the last three years a nesting Swainson’s Hawk. Night Hawks provide spectacular courtship displays above the prairie dog town. We are hoping to catch a glimpse of rare burrowing owls and scaled quail. In the evenings, the coyotes, poorwills and owls can be heard and morning brings the sound of Neotropical flycatchers, orioles and buntings as well as Northern bobwhite quail which are abundant on this preserve.
Our restored colony of black-tailed prairie dogs will need monitoring and viewers can expect to see the new crop of prairie dog babies.
President Kirsti Harms will be leaving from Austin and Executive Director Pat Merkord will be leaving from Houston/Conroe area. We welcome any who would like to carpool with either Kirsti or Pat, or anyone who wishes to drive out on their own. We have a small trailer, well water and space for camping or you can get a room in nearby Colorado City. Please contact Pat Merkord in Conroe, Texas, at 936-827-7973 or Kirsti Harms in Austin, Texas, at 512-296-9160 for questions and to let us know if you will be coming. Carpooling and accommodations can be arranged. Please consider joining and helping in this endeavor. We will furnish lunch and dinner on Saturday.
WHEN: Sunday, May 18: 10:00am through lunch.
WHERE: Meet at the Prairie Replication Site below Granger Dam at 10:00am.
WHAT: Informal walk around the site with an eye to “what is to be done.”
We’ll list the plants we see there, both native and non-native, and familiarize ourselves with the lay-out of the site. We’ll leave the prairie around 11:30am to arrive in Taylor at noon to meet over lunch. We want to hear everyone’s ideas as we consider activities that might include monitoring and care for remnant prairies, search for other remnant sites, restoration efforts at the replication site, organizing and posting the Chalk Prairie plant list, and potential educational field experiences for students and teachers.
Prairie Fest is an annual free, solar-powered festival offering unique outdoor adventures for children and families along with tasty food, live musical entertainment and trailside storytellers. Click HERE for a map to location
Solar-powered music including folk, reggae, percussion ensemble, jazz, world music and Tejano. Details to be announced next month.
50 booths featuring everything from green products and services, vintage clothing, native plants and so much more. A local Boy Scout troop will have a rope bridge set up for the kiddos. You might also encounter impromptu kite-flyers, stilt walkers, belly dancers and hula hoopers in the big circle. More details next month.
A variety of food sellers for all tastes and a beer and wine tent will be available.
Guided hikes for children begin on the hour from 11 am until 4 pm.
Travel through Time at Prairie Fest # 9
Beautiful rolling hills and prairie wildflowers are rare in North Texas. Yet, they define Tandy Hills Natural Area. Have you ever wondered how these features evolved? Travel back in time to find out!
Heather Foote, science educator and founder of Prairie Keepers, has designed a new hike for Prairie Fest 2014: The Time Travel Passport Game © . This self-paced interpretive hike starts with the Gait Keeper at the Time Travel Passport Office. Train with math educator Jonathan Mills to pace your steps through a scale model of geologic time, but beware the Time Vortex! Passport books are free, and required to play the game. Hike the length of the Tandy Hills ridge, and be amazed. The Time Trail is open from 11 am until sunset.
Chronos: The Keeper of Time © by Prairie Keepers
For ages 7 through adult, this 45-minute hike explores challenging terrain to reveal the treasures of geologic time hidden in time capsules. Participants keep their time travel passport book and a wooden cookie name tag. Proper footwear required.
Earthwalks ® by The Institute for Earth Education
For ages 3 – 6, Earthwalks are refreshing strolls with a naturalist guide along a gentle trail. Special needs hikers and parents will find this 30-minute hike can awaken the senses. Participants keep their wooden cookie name tag and a piece of the rainbow!
Please join us for a celebratory sit-down evening dinner at Monument Inn. Proceeds from the event will support conservation of Deer Park Prairie and future education programs. Dinner speakers includes Dennis Jones, TPWD Park Interpreter at San Jacinto Battleground on prairie history; Pat Merkord, Executive Director of NPAT on the future of Deer Park Prairie; and ending remarks by Jaime Gonzalez, President of Coastal Prairie Partnership. We will have a fundraising silent auction, cash bar, door prizes, and more. Menu include choice of shrimp, fish, chicken or vegetarian plus dessert. Cost is only $40/person. Registration is required; deadline is Tuesday, April 1, 2014.
Monument Inn: 4406 Independence Pkwy, La Porte 77571
Doors Open at 6:15 p.m.; Dinner Starts at 7:00 p.m.
Free scheduled tours of the prairie for our friends, neighbors, and supporters start at 8:00 a.m. on the hour until 5:00 p.m. We also welcome new supporters, those who register for the Monument Inn Dinner, and new friends who sign up for our email list during registration. Registration is required; only those with tour tickets are guaranteed space on the tour. PLEASE DO NOT SIGN UP FOR MORE THAN 2 TOURS TO ALLOW EVERYONE A CHANCE TO VISIT. Minors under 18 must be accompanied during the entire trip by an adult over 18. Options are:
8:00 a.m. Bird Tour.
9:00 a.m. Prairie Basics tour
10:00 a.m. Prairie Basics
11:00 a.m. Prairie Plants Tour
12:00 noon Children’s Tour
1:00 p.m. Butterfly Tour
2:00 p.m. Children’s Tour
3:00 p.m. Prairie Plants Tour
4:00 p.m. Prairie Tour with Jaime Gonzalez of Katy Prairie Conservancy & tour guide extraordinaire
5:00 p.m Prairie History Tour with Dennis Jones, TPWD Park Interpreter at San Jacinto Battleground, our dinner speaker & tour guide extraordinaire
Parking: Due to extremely limited parking at the prairie, off-site parking has been arranged. Parking instructions will be sent by email or telephone after you register.
Make a day of it: visit some of the outdoor recreation parks (see list below) in the vicinity and then come to Monument Inn for the celebratory dinner.
To reserve your tour & dinner, click HERE.
To support NPAT or to future programs and land management of the Lawther - Deer Park Prairie Preserve donate here on NPAT’s donation page. If you wish your donation to be used only for this prairie, please add in the comment section “for use at Lawther - Deer Park Prairie Preserve.”
We hope to see you on the prairie!
Photo courtesy of Don Verser.
Tours: Granger Lake is an Army Corps of Engineers site located in Williamson County, about 40 miles northeast of Austin. We will visit two prairies there: a remnant chalk prairie on the slopes above the south shore of the lake and a restored tall grass prairie planted in 1994 in a cooperative effort between NPAT, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and the Army Corps of Engineers. Spring wildflowers should be in abundance with some little-seen prairie species on the gravelly chalk.
Lunch and Workshop: After the two tours, we will go to Alligator Prairie, a private restoration effort for lunch. Then Pat Merkord, Executive Director of NPAT, will give a talk on how to identify remnant prairies and about NPAT’s efforts to conserve these increasingly rare ecosystems.
Attendance is limited to 30. Registration fee is $20 (includes lunch).
Photo of Funnel Flower by NPAT board member Nancy Webber.
Joan Singh of Commons Ford PRO wrote:
WHEN: April 26, 9:00 a.m. to Noon
WHERE: Commons Ford Ranch Metropolitan Park | 614 Commons Ford Rd., 78733
Join us in our continuing fight to remove more invasive plants as a part of the Commons Ford Prairie Restoration Project.
Our restoration project is entering its fifth year and this year we are asking for help removing invasive thistle plants, which threaten to outgrow and outpace the beautiful natives.
Wear closed-toe shoes, long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and work gloves. Bring a water bottle as there is no potable water in the park.
Parallel parking is available along the park road.
To our members and friends,
For all the gardening work we are planning, hoping for, starting on, and all the garden-related outside activities this month (summarized in an earlier email message), don’t forget our own NPSOT chapter’s booth at Seguin’s Earth Day celebration, Saturday April 26, 9AM - 2PM, 201 S. Austin St.
Click HERE for more information.