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The American Prairie Conference occurs every other year. It hasn’t been held in Texas for 30 years!EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION PRICES - THROUGH APRIL 22 on…

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“Keeping Texas Native” Scheduled throughout Texas this Spring!     Photo of LBJWC’s 2018 Native Plant Sale Lady Bird…

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HNPAT Program Meeting Please note our March meeting has been scheduled for the 3rd Wednesday!“Wildflowers of Texas” author Michael Eason Michael…

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Prairie Facts

HNPAT Meeting - Wednesday, February 24

“Bison and Grasslands”

By Dr. Angela Laws
Dr. Angela Laws, Research Assistant Professor in the Biology and Chemistry Department at the University of Houston will discuss how bison modify grasslands and how their foraging is affected by fire.  She will also give a brief overview of two experiments planned for this summer on grasshoppers and insect diversity in prairies.
HNPAT meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month at the Cherie Flores Pavilion in McGovern Centennial Gardens @ Hermann Park. 1500 Hermann Drive, Houston 77004 (parking lot entrance is directly across the street from the Health Museum)

Please join us at 6:30 p.m. for refreshments & at 7:00 p.m. for the meeting

Blackland Chapter March Meeting - New Location!

When: Tuesday, March 8th at 6:30 pm
Where: NEW LOCATION! 4847 W Lawther Dr., Dallas, TX 75214; located between Mockingbird and E. Northwest Hwy. Drive to the top of the hill and turn left on Center Point to park. The Point is on the west side of the quadrant. The meeting will be held in the Flag Pole Room in The Point and Pavilion at C.C. Young Senior Living.

North Texas Prairies in Peril & Tools for Conserving Prairie Remnants

RJ Taylor and Pat Merkord will bring us a discussion about what you can do to help preserve threatened prairie sites in North Texas.  RJ Taylor will present an overview of several prairie sites in the Blackland Prairie region that are currently under the threat of habitat loss. As ranchland that surrounds cities experiences the threat of development, Texas land trusts working with communities can be a vital tool for prairie preservation.

We will hear the stories about three undeveloped prairie properties that are being planned for conversion from agricultural lands to developed in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Wallace Prairie in Rockwall has recently been purchased from the ranching family and is currently being planned for a residential development.  The Becks Creek Prairie site in Richardson/Plano is owned by a corporation and is being evaluated for homesites. Indian Hills Prairie site is located in the outskirts of Farmersville, a portion of which the landowner is willing to protect if funds were available. These are just a few of the quality prairie sites around the DFW area that are in the path of development.

This is not the end of the story; opportunities exist for citizens to help preserve the native prairie landscapes on these properties. Pat Merkord will give us an overview of conservation tools that have been effectively used in Texas to protect important natural lands. 

Working with both the original landowners and the entities purchasing those lands, options are available to raise funds to purchase the prairie lands for permanent protection, or to work with landowners on placing conservation easements on those lands. Merkord will use as an example initiatives in the Houston area for the Lawther-Deer Park Prairie site.

About Our Speakers:

R J Taylor is an environmental scientist experienced in ecological assessment of land and natural resources. He consults with landowners, businesses and other entities in land conservation, with a focus on conservation easements. Taylor served as Conservation Director of Connemara Conservancy and continues to assist the group in its efforts. He is currently vice-president of the Blackland Chapter of the Native Prairies Association of Texas and is in the process of mapping prairie parcels in North Texas. Taylor has a master’s degree in science, with a geology focus, from University of South Carolina-Columbia

Pat Merkord is Executive Director of the Native Prairie Association. She operates Bluestem Environmental Consultants, helping her clients with wildlife management plans, species surveys, plant surveys and watershed evaluations, with a focus on prairie conservation and restoration. She has a master’s degree in biology with focuses on history and wildlife from Texas State University and Texas A&M University.

For more information, please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click her name to email or call 214-321-7159.

Marysee Prairie Prescribed Burn Volunteer Opportunity

When: Sunday February 7, 9am til we finish
Where: Marysee Prairie, Liberty County. From the intersection of Hwy 105 Hwy 146 in Moss Hill, go east on Hwy 105. Take a left on CR 2077. Marysee Prairie is the last property on the right. CLICK HERE FOR MAP LINK.

Activity Goal: To burn native tall grass prairie to control brush recruitment and prevent thatch accumulation.
Activity Details: There are two main tasks. The first will be to improve the fireline by raking cut grass around three sides of the a 9 acre burn unit. We will then break for a snack/lunch. After a brief safety orientation we will split into two holding crews and burn the prairie. This is a low complexity burn. No prior experience necessary. Crew members will be asked to either carry a flapper, rake, back-pack sprayer, or ignition torch depending on their abilities and comfort levels.

Degree of Difficulty: Moderate. Relatively flat area, but will need to walk through dense grasses.
Participants Need to Bring: Volunteers must wear long pants and closed toed shoes, preferably hiking or work boots. Must bring a long sleeved shirt to wear during the burn itself. Participants should also bring a bottle of water, lunch, and dress for the weather. Some snacks and water will be provided.

Essential Project Needs and Safety Considerations:
- Activity will not occur in rainy conditions.
- Those with allergies to bee stings or fire ants should be prepared as necessary.
- Nearest medical facility is approximately 25 minutes away. A first aid kit will be available on site.
- Volunteers will be working with heavy and/or sharp tools.
- There is the possibility participants may encounter snakes, spiders, scorpions and other wildlife.

Contact: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information.

Monarch Workshop in Sugar Land

When: Sat, February 20th - 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Where: Anson Aviation, 12890-A Highway 6 South, Sugar Land Texas 77498

Registration Fee: $25 (includes lunch)
RSVP online and pay with a credit card or RSVP online and pay with cash or check at the door



9:00-9:45         Conservation Easements and how they conserve pollinator populations – Pat Merkord - NPAT, Executive Director, Matt Singer - Galveston Bay Foundation, Land Stewardship Manager & Biologist
9:45-10:30       1-d-1 Wildlife Management Activities for Pollinators
10:30-11:15       Citizen Science Opportunities: iNaturalist & the Prairie Power Series with NPAT and Coastal Prairie Partnership
11:15-12:00       Creating Habitat for Pollinators: Growing in Urban Areas and Application to Cullinan Park – Diana Foss – TPWD Greater Houston Area, Urban Wildlife Biologist

12:00-1:00         Lunch Provided

1:00-2:00         Monarch Gateway Program and How to Create Monarch Habitat
2:00-3:00         Milkweeds & Monarchs – The best milkweeds to grow in your area & how to protect Monarchs from predators and disease
3:00-3:30         Optional Walk to Cullinan Park: Pollinator Habitat plans for Cullinan Park

Speakers include:

Barbara Willy— Monarch Gateway, Director
Pat Merkord—Native Prairies Association of Texas, Executive Director
Dr. Cassidy Johnson—Coastal Prairie Partnerships, President
Matt Singer —Galveston Bay Foundation, Land Stewardship Manager & Biologist
Diana Foss —TPWD Greater Houston Area, Urban Wildlife Biologist


Click HERE to Download and print a flier to post locally!

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