News Archive

In the News

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…

Read more of this >>

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

Read more of this >>

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

Read more of this >>

Prairie Facts

NEWS - Our first WINTER SURVEY at Daphne Prairie!!

Thank you, Mr. Hicks!

We are very grateful to Mr. B. F. Hicks (Daphne Prairie Landowner/2016 Prairie Preservationist Award winner) and a few of his friends, for hosting the 15 Volunteers for our FIRST Winter Bird Survey, January 28 & 29, 2017!  Individuals from three of NPAT’s local Chapters (are also members of Cross Timbers Chapter-Master Naturalist and North Texas Chapter Master Naturalist), participated in this VERY SUCCESSFUL WINTER BIRD COUNT! 
We spotted approximately 60 bird species including:
Short-eared Owls (Asio flammeus)
Barn Owls (Tyto alba)
Northern Harriers (Circus cyaneus)
Hundreds of Eastern Meadowlarks (Sturnella magna)
Harlan’s Red Tailed Hawk (B. j. harlani)

We also saw indications of other wildlife as well, inclulding:
Eastern Cottontails (Sylvilagus floridanus)      Badgers (Taxidea taxus)
Bobcats (Lynx rufus)                                  Striped Skunks (Mephitis mephitis)
Coyote (of course!)  (Canis latrans)

You’ll want to monitor our site and newsletter for future surveys we plan to organize!

February 5, 2017 - Austin, TX

Celebrating Wild Mueller, THIRD Audubon Bird Walk

Sunday from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

PLEASE NOTE - A NEW LOCATION THIS TIME: at the corner of Tilley St. and Tom Miller St.
Drive as far East on Tom Miller Street as you can – it dead ends into Tilley Street (the new section of Mueller located East of Berkman Drive - close to the newly-constructed pond).

Co-Sponsors: Travis Audubon Society and Mueller P.O.A. Landscape Committee

This is a free public event we want to share with anyone wanting to see winter birds at Mueller.  Once again, members of the Travis Audubon Society will bring spotting scopes and extra binoculars to share.
Learn about the birds’ habits and habitat and identify them by their calls.
All ages are welcome.

February 11 & 12, 2017 - Maddin Prairie Preserve

Open Preserve, Saturday and Sunday

Maddin Prairie Sunset

Visit NPAT’s western-most preserve, Maddin Preserve.

Contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for access information and to RSVP.

We will work on trails, especially along the Champion Creek, to make it easier to explore!

February 13, 2017 - Fort Worth, TX

Tandy Hills BioBlitz & Beyond

Monday, from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

John Tandy: Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area
Bruce Benz: Texas Weselyn University
FW-NPAT  Fort Worth Chapter of NPAT
In 2016, the Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area wrote a grant & received funding to organize & host the largest BioBlitz in Texas. The Tandy Hills BioBlitz focused on documenting all living species at the park over a continuous 36 hour time period. Scientists, Citizen Scientists including volunteers, students & children helped collect data on the flora & fauna of the park by using iNaturalist. The results formed a permanent & valuable snapshot of biological life at Tandy Hills.

John & Bruce will present the results of the Tandy Hills BioBlitz, show the professional video created about the event and talk about what comes next.

Information and Directions on FW NPAT’s website.

January 25, 2017 - Houston, TX

It’s A Seed Party!!  Wednesday from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Join Houston NPAT and Katy Prairie Conservancy at our seed cleaning party!
Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, Hermann Park’s McGovern Centennial Gardens, 1500 Hermann Drive, Houston TX 77004 Sponsored by Katy Prairie Conservancy, KPC. They are providing PIZZA!

We collected seeds in Fall, 2016; they will be cleaned and put in packets for distribution to people willing to grow them out for KPC’s Great Grow Out Program.
Learn about prairie plants and seeds from KPC experts: come and see what these native seeds look like, how to clean them, and take some home.
Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium)        Texas Coneflower (Rudbeckia texana)
Yellow Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans)        Purple Lovegrass (Eragrostis spectabilis)
American Basketflower (Centaurea americana) (To see summer blooms, seed this annual from fall through winter.)
(View all of Houston NPAT’s upcoming activities on Houston NPAT!)

January 25 & 26, 2017 - Houston, TX

Citizens Enviromental Coalition’s Wild and Scenic Film Festival

Wednesday and Thursday,  Beginning @7:00 p.m. each evening.

Join the Citizens Enviromental Coalition, “CEC”,  for a night of environmental inspiration as we host the second Houston screening of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tour. After a wildly successful event last year, we are hosting two nights of amazing short films in 2017!
BUY TICKETS IN ADVANCE and review the detailed information on this link: Wild & Scenic Film Festival Tour 2017.
(View all of Houston NPAT’s upcoming activities on Houston NPAT!)

January 26 thru 29, 2017 - Humble, TX

Bayou Land Conservancy’s “Spring Creek Greenway Winter Tree Planting”

Thursday through Sunday, 9:00 a.m. - Noon each day!

Looking for some outdoor volunteering in cooler weather? 
Come help plant 200 trees on the Spring Creek Greenway Trail in 2016 Jesse H. Jones Park & Nature Center, 20634 Kenswick Dr, Humble, TX 77338.
Please help whenever you can between 9 a.m. and noon. 
Registration Required, must be at least 15 years of age

PRE-REGISTER- Go to the Bayou Land Conservancy’s site; then click on the “Winter Tree Planting” flier image.

January 28, 2017 - Houston, TX

Monthly Bird Survey at Lawther - Deer Park Prairie

Saturday, January 28, from 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.

Come join Damien Carey for the survey and learn about the bird life we have at DPP!

Contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information on the bird survey and to verify date.
(View all of Houston NPAT’s upcoming activities on Houston NPAT!)

January 28, 2017 - Deer Park, TX

It’s an ExxonMobil Day benefitting Deer Park Prairie!

Come, help out Saturday, from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.!

If you are an ExxonMobil employee, retiree or immediate family member (youth under 25) of an employee or retiree, the Houston Native Prairies Association of Texas “HNPAT” and Lawther-Deer Park Prairie need your help! 
ExxonMobil will be awarding a $500 team grant for every TEAM OF 5: employees, retirees and /or family members who come out to help!! 
GRANT MONEY - will be used to purchase much needed equipment to help in the fight against invasive species in this gem of an urban prairie remnantThe more teams the better! 
LOCATION: 1222 E. Purdue Lane, Deer Park 77536
CONTACT: If you can help, please contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

January 28, 2017 - Fort Worth, TX

9th Annual Brush Bash - Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area

Saturday,  from 9:00 a.m. - Noon

ONE DAY A YEAR Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area hosts a Brush Bash -  to clear sections of the prairie of invasive and unwanted trees, brush and trash! 
WE NEED YOU!  Come to 3400 View Street, Fort Worth, TX 76103 (map)
BRING: gloves, sturdy shoes, hat, water, tarps, loppers, wheelbarrows and wagons.
All ages welcome.  Coffee, tea, hot cocoa & morning snacks provided.

Rain date, February 7, 9:00 a.m. - Noon

January 28, 2017- 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Austin, TX

“Surprising Uses of Native Plants by Native Americans and Early Texans”

Mueller P.O.A. Landscape Committee and the Friends of the Mueller Prairie are proud to present this thought-provoking and interesting program - free and open to the public!
Patty Leslie-Pasztor, horticulturalist and ethnobotanist!

Come to the Wildflower Terrace Theater.
??????????????    ???????????????
Ever wonder how the Native Americans lived off the land here in Central Texas?
Learn how they and the early settlers used native plants (just like the ones we have planted in the Mueller Demonstration Garden) for food, medicine and fiber. Almost every plant in our Demonstration Garden had some historical use: food, drink, medicine, fiber for clothing or utensils or dyes.

Patty Leslie-Pasztor served as a horticulturalist for the San Antonio Botanical Gardens and a Park Naturalist at Friedrich Wilderness Park.  She currently conducts workshops on landscaping for butterflies and birds as well as workshops on ethnobotany for landowners, teachers and archaeologists.
Patty is the coauthor of Texas Trees: A Friendly Guide.

Is Ethnobotany a new word to you?  What is ethnobotany and why does it matter?
Ethno (as in ‘ethnic’) refers to people, culture, a culture’s collective body of beliefs, aesthetic, language, knowledge, and practice.
Botany is the study of plants—from the tiniest fern or blade of grass to the tallest or oldest tree. 
Botany includes all the wild plants and the domesticated species.
Domesticates are species that we humans have selected over time from the wild plant species, then tamed and trained to optimally produce for us: food, fibers, medicine, materials, and more.
The domesticated species are both the subject and object of agriculture.
Ethnobotanical knowledge encompasses both wild and domesticated species and is rooted in observation, relationship, needs, and traditional ways of knowing. Such knowledge evolves over time and is therefore always changing and adding new discoveries, ingenuity and methods.  Source: Botanical Deminsions.

Adults and families with children will find a lot to fascinate them in this talk. A walk in the park won’t be the same afterward!

January 28, 2017 - 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. - Austin, TX

This Saturday!

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Celebrate Texas trees in the Arboretum with family-friendly tree climbing, walks and talks, s’more roasting, fort building and more!

Winter Tree Fest activities are all free with admission VISIT.
All tree books and walking sticks will be on special throughout the day at the Store!

January 28 & 29, 2017 -  East of Mt. Vernon, TX

Our FIRST Field Trip to our Newest Conservation Easement - Daphne Prairie!!

We will Monitor Winter Species & Do A Winter Bird Point Count!

Explore the the newest addition to NPAT’s growing land portfolio:
the beautiful 922 acre Daphne Prairie, in NE Texas!!

Silveus’ Dropseed and Longspike Tridens are two of the signature grasses of rare Alfisol Prairie.

Share our excitement as we document flora and fauna of this unique and historically rich prairie!  Your interest is enough; you do not have to be experienced in birding or wildlife surveying, and all can participate and join the experts as we explore this property and document its species. 

Information and directions to the property & info on carpools from Dallas and Houston areas: Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Call 936-827-7973. (You may come on your own.)

View this large and very rare tract with grassland sparrows and other winter birds protected on this property: this pair of adult Dickcissel (Spiza americanain), who “Originally nested in native prairies and meadows”, Audubon Field-Guide.

A False Dragonhead Physostegia,                  Common Buckeye Butterfly
“Obedient Plant” (Physostegia virginiana)            (Junonia coenia Hübner)

January 30, 2017 - Wimberley, TX

NPSOT Hill Country Chapter

“Confusing Composites: A Wildflower Primer”

Monday, 6:00 p.m.

Among the wonderful and confounding challenges of wildflower identification is sorting through all the species of composites that bloom throughout the Texas Hill Country!
NPSOT Presents Craig Hensley, Park Interpreter & Naturalist, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Guadalupe River State Park 
LOCATION: VFW Post #6441, 401 Jacobs Well Road (CR 182), Wimberley Texas 78676: MAP.
Arrive at 6:00 pm for a ‘meet and greet’; Mr. Hensley’s Program will begin @6:30 pm.
DO NOT MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY!  Bring one of your books on the wildflowers of Texas- for reference and note taking.

Park Ranger Craig Hensley:
-has been described as something out of a storybook; a ‘Wizard of Wildlife’.
-Developed and conducted wide variety of programs for park visitors for all ages (nature walks to presentations on astronomy, bats, birds, insects, snakes, mammals and more).
-Developed and presented workshops for Master Naturalist and Native Plant Society chapters.
-Served as cultural and natural resource specialist for 4,000+ acres of Park and adjacent Honey Creek State Natural Area.
-Conducts bird banding research, bi-monthly butterfly surveys including annual North American Butterfly Association annual survey, and Golden-cheeked Warbler surveys.
-Coordinated monarch larval monitoring.
(See Craig Hensley, Guadalupe River State Park Ranger, in action as he finds creative ways to connect folks with nature.)

January 21 & 22, 2017 -  near Colorado City, TX

THIS WEEKEND - Maddin Prairie Preserve

“Winter Bird Survey, Monitoring & Maintenance Field Trip”

If you would like to explore our fabulous preserve of the Rolling Plains Ecoregion - consider joining NPAT on a field trip to Maddin Prairie Preserve near Colorado City, Mitchell County Texas.

The area is west of Abilene: Map to Maddin Prairie Preserve:
-280 miles NW of Austin, 220 miles W of Fort Worth; 250 miles W of Dallas.
-It is possible to carpool from Houston, Fort Worth and Austin or you can come on your own. 
-To join this field trip contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call Pat at 936-827-7973.

We will be doing surveys of the property including our winter bird point count, survey of prairie dogs and a general wildlife survey.  There will be other maintenance activities that will require volunteer help as well such as checking the fence line and water pipes.

There are always surprises waiting for visitors such as         the Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia) living
White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys),          in the prairie dog burrows last January,

or the North American Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) in a tree by Champion Creek flowing through property on its way to the Colorado River!           
The Pyrrhuloxia (Cardinalis sinuatus) may also be seen at Maddin Prairie!
(Don’t be fooled by it’s similarity to the Northern Cardinal in its song and behavior! 
It resembles an immature or female Cardinal;
its distinguishing characteristic is the ‘parrot-like’ beak.)

January 10, 2017 - Dallas, TX

NPAT Blackland Chapter’s 1st Meeting of 2017!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017, 6:30 pm

Location: C.C. Young Senior Living, The Point and Pavilion, Flag Pole Classroom,
4847 W Lawther Dr., Dallas, TX 75214 Map and Directions

We will hear from two of Blackland Chapter’smembers
Archaeologist, Tim Dalby, heads the program and will present his findings on our June 4, 2016 tour of Northeast Texas prairies.
Photo essay on that June 4, 2016 trip by Amy Martin.
Also to be addressed: chapter officers, future meeting topics, and field trips for 2017.

January 14, 2017 - Austin, TX

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

GUIDED GARDEN TOUR - Saturday 1-14-17 from 10-11 am
Learn about the plants, history and architecture of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.  Select this link for upcoming Events.

2017 EXHIBITIONS are underway!
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center exhibits works of Central Texas artists, photographers, and prominent nature artists from around the world. Schedule of Artists’ Exhibits
January 14 thru May 28, 2017: ‘Fieldnotes’ Exhibit of Joan Son’s nature-inspired origami. 

January 30, 2017 - Wimberley, TX

January 6, 2017 - Lockhart State Park, Lockhart, TX

Black-capped Chickadee

“Birding for Beginners”  All Ages Are WELCOME!  Friday, 8:30-10:30am

2012 State Park Road, Lockhart, TX 78644-9716

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department welcomes all ages to attend; Map, directions, park fees, and other pertinent information are provided on the TPWD link. TPWD Event!

See what the birding buzz is all about!  Bundle up - winter is a great time to observe birds! Their distinct songs carry across the prairies on a crisp winter morning! 
(Like this Carolina Chickadee!) 

Our hosts, TPWD, will provide expert tips on using binoculars and and identifying birds, then we’ll practice those tips on a short bird walk.  (Binoculars and ID guides are provided or bring your own.)  Experienced ‘BIRDERS’ are encouraged to come along!  It’s ALWAYS a good day to observe our feathered friends!

Prepare: Watch/listen to the local forecast for Friday morning, and wear weather-appropriate clothes and sturdy shoes

See more news >>