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Wednesday, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Houston Chapter of NPAT Texas Prairie Restoration: One Goal, Multiple Approaches. How past land use dictates restoration efforts. • Andy…

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Pedaling the Prairie - Chisholm Trail Park Wednesday, from 6 – 7pm Chisholm Trail Community Center, 4936 McPherson Blvd, Fort…

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Restoration Efforts at the Connemara Meadow Nature Preserve Presenter: Bob Mione of Connemara Conservancy Monday, from 6:30pm – 8pm

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Prairie Facts

Past News & Events

Did you know June 19 - 25, 2017 is “National Pollinator Week”?

National Pollinator Week:
was founded and is led by the Pollinator Partnership dedicated exclusively to the protection and promotion of pollinators and their ecosystems.
is a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what you can do to protect them! 
is a critical event to draw major attention to the importance Native Pollinators—bees, butterflies, moths, bats and birds—play to the world, their status, and how essential they are to people, food, the economy and ecosystems!

   

Dozens of conservation organizations across the U.S. formed the National Pollinator Garden Network “NPGN” in 2014 and launched the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a call to action to preserve and create gardens and landscapes that help revive the health of bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators across America. It is a response to President Barack Obama’s federal strategy to promote the health of pollinators by restoring or enhancing millions of acres of land for pollinators. 

Native pollinators can be two to three times as effective at pollinating agricultural crops as non-native honeybees.  They need native plants and natural landscapes to survive!

We’ve summarized how two well-known NPGN participants responsed to the ‘call to action’The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and the National Wildlife Federation.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center created:
Support Monarchs Through Project Milkweed to increase abundance of native milkweeds, by collecting & distributing seeds of NATIVE TEXAS MILKWEEDS to local growers so they can grow and promote local milkweed availability.
Become a Milkweed Grower - Growers participating in Project Milkweed are expected to grow a new generation of milkweeds from the seeds they receive from the Wildflower Center and then use these plants as a starter population to increase seed production.
How Pollinators Help Cotton Farmers - According to a study of South Texas by The University of Texas at Austin: increasing the diversity of pollinator species, including bees, flies and butterflies, can dramatically increase cotton production.  Increasing the diversity of pollinators could boost cotton production by up to 18 percent, yielding an increase in annual revenue of more than $1.1 million.
Browse Pollinator-Friendly Plants by Region or Insect Special Collections section of the Native Plant Information Network. They post lists of native plants recommended for various purposes; researchers can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.

NWF created:
Mayors Monarch Pledge –This map shows participating cities and their commitments across the U.S. and a tri-national agreement with Canada and Mexico, to increase habitat for the monarch butterfly and other native pollinators.  We’ve captured a portion of the map identifying the Participating Texas Cities!

Certified Habitat Program -owners/managers provide native plant habitat, food water, shelter and places to rear young for all types of wild creatures including pollinators. 
Butterfly Heroes Program provides seed packets and garden starter kits to youth groups, families and children to create monarch and pollinator gardens in communities across the U.S. 
Native Plant Finder helps gardeners and habitat managers identify plants and trees for their locale that have high pollinator and wildlife value. 
Garden for Wildlife Program offers tools and a strategy that reduces reliance on insecticides and herbicides across the nation. 

Accept the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge!

Create pollinator gardens and manage existing gardens for pollinators; follow the Pollinator Partnership’s lead and learn from them!

June 28, 2017 - Houston, TX

Wednesday, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Houston Chapter of NPAT

Texas Prairie Restoration: One Goal, Multiple Approaches.

How past land use dictates restoration efforts.

Andy Newman, Mitigation Banking Program Manager from Harris County Flood Control District will be speaking about the challenges of restoring our Texas rice fields to viable prairie ecosystems.
HNPAT’s June Meeting will be at: Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion at Hermann Park Directions and Parking.

The primary mission of restoration projects is the reestablishment of native plant communities utilizing historic literature and existing undisturbed habitats as species composition guidelines.  Harris County Flood Control District is currently restoring two different coastal prairies.  While the objective on both properties is the same, restoration of wet prairies, the methods vary.  This talk will detail the differences and similarities of converting a loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantation and old rice/cattle allotment into functional coastal prairie.

Andy Newman’s primary responsibility is the restoration of wetlands and streams to provide no-net loss of waters and wetlands in accordance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for all HCFCD projects.  Properties managed include a variety of habitats including bottomland hardwood forests, prairies, emergent marshes, and pine savannahs.  In addition to restoration, Mr. Newman has experience with wetland ecology, bird biology, identification of sedges and grasses, aquatic insects, and vegetation community classification.

June 28, 2017 - Fort Worth, TX

Pedaling the Prairie - Chisholm Trail Park

Wednesday, from 6 – 7pm

Chisholm Trail Community Center, 4936 McPherson Blvd, Fort Worth, TX 76123
•  Participants may bring their own bike or rent one of ours.
Take advantage of our brand new trail, get fresh air, exercise and social opportunities with family, friends and neighbors!

For more info: Call 817/392-8070 or go to http://fortworthtexas.gov/chisholmtrailcc/

July 10, 2017 - Fort Worth, TX

Restoration Efforts at the Connemara Meadow Nature Preserve

Presenter: Bob Mione of Connemara Conservancy

Monday, from 6:30pm – 8pm

Fort Worth NPAT Chapter Monthly Meetup
Bob’s presentaion will deal with
the detailed history of restoration attempts at the 72-acre nature preserve. 
Removal of invasives, both chemically and via solarization, the use of a “no till drill”,
using a greenhouse to start seedlings,
irrigation techniques,
seed choices,
mowing techniques and other aspects of native grass and wild flower restoration are discussed. 
Recent focus on restoring habitat for Monarch butterflies and bees is highlighted.

July 11, 2017 (due to July 4th Holiday) -  San Antonio, TX

Tuesday, from 7pm-8:30pm

San Antonio Chapter of NPAT

“9-Natives Landscape Plans”, Lan Shen

Meet us at the City of San Antonio’s Lions Field Adult and Senior Center,

Lan Shen will be presenting on the concept of “9 Natives” developed by Jaime Gonzales of the Katy Prairie Conservancy & Coastal Prairie Partnership (CPP), to encourage the use of local native plants.

She will be talking about all phases of promoting the 9-Natives concept in the Greater Houston area:
from the initial 9-Natives design contest
to developing practical 9-Natives landscape plans by Clark Condon Associates, a Houston architecture firm. 

This project began as a contest, sponsored by CPP & Houston-NPAT, to design a garden landscape for homeowners using 9 native plants that (as either plants or seeds) could be purchased.
The hope was this project would also be a means to encourage local nurseries to carry these native plants for sale.
Lan was one of the two winners of the FIRST “9-Natives Contest” in Houston; she will discuss her award winning design and how this concept of using 9 natives can be applied to other cities to encourage the use of native plants in home and public gardens.
Lan will provide information on the 9 native plants proposed for the greater Houston area and talk about growth requirements for some Central Texas native species currently available at local nurseries.
It is hoped that this example of citizen participation in furthering the use of natives in urban gardens will inspire those in the Central Texas area to develop plans of their own design using the same guidelines developed in Houston and perhaps offer a similar contest to encourage native landscape designs for the Central Texas area.

Our Presenter, Lan Shen
is the past 3-year President of the Houston NPAT Chapter; 
the Activity Coordinator for Lawther-Deer Park Prairie, Deer Park, TX; and
a Master Naturalist in the Gulf Coast region of Texas.

SA NPAT chapter meetings will RESUME the 1st TUESDAY, August 1, 2017,  at 7 p.m. at this location.

July 19, 2017 - Victoria, TX

Wednesday, beginning at 6 p.m.

Organizational Meeting to Discuss Formation of

NPAT’s “Victoria Area Chapter”

Led by NPAT’s Board President, Barbara Keller-Willy

Meet us at the Bayside Seafood Restaurant.
Their “Event Room” has been reserved for “NPAT”.

Take a look at the Bayside Seafood Menu! 

Location: 4202 N Navarro St, Victoria, TX 77901, at the corner of Fillmore Avenue and Navarro Street (Hwy 77).

We invite you to join friends and neighbors, meet new ones, and enjoy a seafood dinner! 
Meet Barbara and learn the process of formally becoming an NPAT chapter!
We also will discuss conservation efforts and opportunities for restoring and sustaining our valuable Texas Prairie lands! 
Everyone is welcome, landowner or not!

 

Have You Watched Pollinators? Barbara Keller-Willy

Have you stopped not only to smell a flower but to watch a pollinator extracting nectar from a flower?
Thanks “Strands Prairie - Follet Island,”
for allowing us to refresh our minds in your beauty and wonder!

Gratitude and photos contributed by NPAT’s Board President, Barbara Keller-Willy

Report on June 3, 2017, 2nd Annual Texas Prairies Tour!

Report from Executive Director, Pat Merkord, on the June 3, 2017

Second Annual Prairie Tour Sponsored by the Dallas Blackland Chapter

This was the Second Annual Prairie Tour sponsored and planned by the Blackland Chapter led by their President, Leigh Ann Ellis.  There were about 50 attendees, about 35 rode on the bus, and the rest, who followed in vehicles, came from Central and South Texas.

The bus departed from Dallas in pouring down rain!
But - it cleared for a beautiful day’s visit to Burleson Prairie. The owner of Burleson led the tour with information gained over many years of restoration efforts by Mickey and Bob Burleson. The prairie was beautiful with many species blooming and grasses waving in the morning breeze. It was a memorable visit.
We next headed to Salado for a fabulous lunch.
Then headed to Granger Lake to look at restoration efforts there and a discussion of the difficulty of maintaining restoration efforts. Visitors got to see large growths of Eastern Gama Grass and aggressive growth of Alamo Switchgrass.

After leaving Granger, the rain fell in torrents, and for a while we wondered if we would have to end the tour. We stopped for a rest at a gas station, discussed the situation; since it appeared that the weather might give us a break—

We decided to head on to the Riesel Prairie to view this prairie owned by Texas Agri-life A&M University and called the Riesel Watershed Project. The prairie had been beat down by the rain but the basket flowers and other bloomers were still holding up in colorful profusion. We described the ongoing research efforts in the use of native prairie plants in the control of erosion within watersheds and the value of these buffers to the quality and quantity of water within the watershed. It was agreed we should hold another field trip for a more in depth look at this valuable prairie and research site.
The tour ended with a visit to Simpson Prairie which is one of our easements near Crawford, Texas.
The storm clouds on the horizon with rays of sunshine coming out after an afternoon of rain lit up the colors of the prairie and we all took our fill of prairie pictures. It was a great end to a delightful day. 

Congratulations, Blackland NPAT Chapter!

This chapter, under the direction Leigh Ann Ellis, provided a delightful and very well attended Prairie Tour to Central Texas Prairies.
We all got to meet many new people to the prairie community and were inspired by comments from all on their enthusiasm and support for our Texas Prairies.

PHOTOS are on our Home page!
Our Blog is the site where we are creating our entire collection and hope to have all photos there SOON for everyone’s enjoyment !!  (We have been promised even more photographs!) 
THANKS to all our PHOTOGRAPHERS! 

June 19 - 25, 2017

National Pollinator Week


Native pollinators can be two to three times as effective at pollinating agricultural crops as non-native honeybees.  They need native plants and natural landscapes to survive!

National Pollinator Week:
was founded and is led by the Pollinator Partnership dedicated exclusively to the protection and promotion of pollinators and their ecosystems.
is a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what you can do to protect them! 
is a critical event to draw major attention to the importance Native Pollinators—bees, butterflies, moths, bats and birds—play to the world, their status, and how essential they are to people, food, the economy and ecosystems!

Dozens of conservation organizations across the U.S. formed the National Pollinator Garden Network “NPGN” in 2014 and launched the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge, a call to action to preserve and create gardens and landscapes that help revive the health of bees, butterflies, birds, bats and other pollinators across America. It is a response to President Barack Obama’s federal strategy to promote the health of pollinators by restoring or enhancing millions of acres of land for pollinators. 

We’ve highlighted two NPGN participants to illustrate nationwide responses to the ‘call to action’The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center  and the National Wildlife Federation.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center created:
Support Monarchs Through Project Milkweed to increase abundance of native milkweeds, by collecting & distributing seeds of NATIVE TEXAS MILKWEEDS to local growers so they can grow and promote local milkweed availability.
Become a Milkweed Grower - Growers participating in Project Milkweed are expected to grow a new generation of milkweeds from the seeds they receive from the Wildflower Center and then use these plants as a starter population to increase seed production.
How Pollinators Help Cotton Farmers - According to a study of South Texas by The University of Texas at Austin: increasing the diversity of pollinator species, including bees, flies and butterflies, can dramatically increase cotton production.  Increasing the diversity of pollinators could boost cotton production by up to 18 percent, yielding an increase in annual revenue of more than $1.1 million.
Browse Pollinator-Friendly Plants by Region or Insect Special Collections section of the Native Plant Information Network. They post lists of native plants recommended for various purposes; researchers can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.

NWF created:
Mayors Monarch Pledge –This map shows participating cities (Check out Texas!) and their commitments across the U.S. and a tri-national agreement with Canada and Mexico, to increase habitat for the monarch butterfly and other native pollinators. 
Certified Habitat Program -owners/managers provide native plant habitat, food water, shelter and places to rear young for all types of wild creatures including pollinators. 
Butterfly Heroes Program provides seed packets and garden starter kits to youth groups, families and children to create monarch and pollinator gardens in communities across the U.S. 
Native Plant Finder helps gardeners and habitat managers identify plants and trees for their locale that have high pollinator and wildlife value. 
Garden for Wildlife Program offers tools and a strategy that reduces reliance on insecticides and herbicides across the nation. 

Accept the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge!

Create pollinator gardens and manage existing gardens for pollinators; follow the Pollinator Partnership’s lead and learn from them!

Press Release - June 2, 2017 - City of Meadows Place, TX

NPAT Offers Prairie Advice to Meadows Place

CenterPoint Powerline ROW - Pollinator Prairie Restoration

Imagine you are a child visiting a prairie for the first time, and you are able to climb up onto a saddle beside a stand of big blue stem and other prairie grasses to experience how historic prairies grew as high as the horse’s belly and went as far as the eye could see …with the help of virtual reality.

Students & visitors to the City of Meadows Place Prairie Pollinator Project will be able to do this & more!
Photo by: Colene Cabezas, Parks Director, City of Meadows Place   

As a Monarch Host City, the City of Meadows Place’s leadership selected approximately 13 acres of CenterPoint powerline ROW to restore to coastal prairie for their large acreage pollinator plot

16 miles SW of Houston, the total area of Meadows Place is 0.9 square miles, and of that area they will create .02 square miles of pollinator habitat or 2.22% of their total city area. 
This project has significance to the entire Houston area as it is one of the first powerline (PL) right-of-ways (ROWs) in the area to be approved for pollinator habitat.
This is one section of 7 contiguous miles of PL ROW which could be restored
This site will include significant PL ROW education as part of the project, which sets the tone for secondary use as pollinator habitat without compromising or forgetting the main purpose of PL ROWS.

The site runs through a city park, which will include an identification garden where residents can identify plants and insects without entering the ROW, as well as a wetland pollinator habitat.
It is next door to a city nature center which will include quail and pollinator education as part of their curriculum. 
Bob White Brigades will deliver quail education on-site.
Students from nearby Meadows Elementary School will use the combination park, restored prairie and nature center to contribute to their science curriculum.

Partners donating time, money, grants, expertise, plants, seeds and supplies include:
Monarch Gateway, Native Prairies Association of Texas,  Brazos River Prairie Chapter of Quail ForeverU.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,  Houston WildernessWildlife Habitat Federation, Coastal Prairie PartnershipMeadows Home & Garden ClubCoastal Prairie Texas Master Naturalists; scouts, students and individuals. 

We invite the continued participation of current and future partners.

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