News Archive

In the News

“3rd SATURDAY WORKDAYS”ENJOY THE OUTDOORS! Celebrate our 1st Monthly Prairie Restoration Workday, Kirchoff Prairie Restoration Site (*)Sponsored by The San Antonio Chapter of NPAT.

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WORK MORNING at White Rock LakeSponsored by North Texas Master NaturalistsSaturday, beginning at 9:30 amMeetup at “Boy Scout Hill” at the…

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Wednesday from 8am-4pm Info on CEU hours, the day’s Agenda and RSVP via this link!

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Prairie Facts

Past News & Events

April 25, 2018 - Houston, TX

HOW TURTLES FIT INTO THE PRAIRIE ECOSYSTEM

by Eric C. Munsche, Research Ecologist

HNPAT Program Meeting, Wednesday, 6:30pm

The American Red Cross, 2700 Southwest Freeway, Houston, TX 77098

Turtles are part of the prairie ecosystem too! As prairie people, we don’t always think about turtles!  Join Eric Munscher as he shares some interesting information on the several turtle species of the Gulf Coast prairie. All are welcome! 
Photo by Aaron Tuggle
Eric C. Munscher is currently with SWCA Environmental Consultants based in Houston. He obtained his Bachelor of Science Degree from Penn State University and his Masters of Science from the University of North Florida in 2007. He is also the Principal Investigator of the Turtle Survival Alliance’s – North American Freshwater Turtle Research Group (NAFTRG).  Eric has been studying turtle populations in Florida and Texas springs for over 19 years. Eric is also a Florida Certified Gopher Tortoise Agent and has extensive experience in wetland delineation and threatened and endangered species surveys throughout the southeast and northeast regions. 

April 27 - 29, 2018 - Llano, TX

TPWD’s First Annual Birding Festival - South Llano River State Park

Friday through Sunday, April 27-29, 2018

South Llano River State Park is excited to announce its First Annual Birding Festival sponsored by the Friends of South Llano River State Park.

Guided bird walks, including Golden-cheeked Warbler walks,
Birding the Riparian,
Guided photography sessions in the park’s four popular bird blinds.

Saturday afternoon:
-Presentation of live birds of prey by Last Chance Forever,
-Bird call presentation by a young birder,
-Beginners’ bird walk,
-Vendor and information tables.
Sunday morning will include more bird walks and a “Big Sit!” as part of Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s Great Texas Birding Classic!

More than 250 species of birds have been observed at the park, including sought-after species: the Golden-cheeked Warbler Setophaga chrysoparia (below left) and Black-capped Vireo Vireo atricapilla (below right), both federally endangered birds which nest in the park. (Photos: National Audubon Society)

   
“We are so excited to showcase the terrific birding at our park and its beautiful bird blinds during one of the busiest bird migration weekends of the year,” says Park Interpreter, Holly Platz. “The park is very unique for birding, because it offers such varied habitat.”

During the Festival, guided walks will offer participants a chance at spotting new bird species for their lists, and ample “free time” between walks and presentations will provide visitors with a chance to enjoy the park’s popular bird blinds, each meticulously cared for by park volunteers and staff.

“We hope that bringing a festival like this to the park and the city of Junction will highlight the area’s biodiversity,”
says Park Superintendent, Scott Whitener. “Birding along the South Llano River is top notch and attracts visitors from all over the world.”

-Festival registration is $65 per person, with a maximum of 80 participants.
-Registration fees will go towards supporting future birdwatching events at the park.
-For more information about this event and how to register, please see the Festival’s Facebook page or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for a registration packet.

FYI: April 27-29, 2018 - Llano, TX - REGISTRATION CLOSED

MARK your 2019 Calendar in mid-March ! Watch for TPWD’s 2nd Annual Birding Festival at South Llano River State Park!

More than 250 species of birds have been observed at the park, including sought-after species: the Golden-cheeked Warbler Setophaga chrysoparia (below left) and Black-capped Vireo Vireo atricapilla (below right), both federally endangered birds which nest in the park. (Photos: National Audubon Society)

   
“We are so excited to showcase the terrific birding at our park and its beautiful bird blinds during one of the busiest bird migration weekends of the year,” says Park Interpreter, Holly Platz. “The park is very unique for birding, because it offers such varied habitat.”

During the Festival, guided walks will offer participants a chance at spotting new bird species for their lists, and ample “free time” between walks and presentations will provide visitors with a chance to enjoy the park’s popular bird blinds, each meticulously cared for by park volunteers and staff.

April 28, 2018 - Deer Park, TX

Spring Prairie Day &  TPWD’s City Nature Challenge Weekend

Saturday from 9am-2pm

(lunch starts at NOON)

Lawther - Deer Park Prairie Preserve, 1222 E. Purdue Ln, Deer Park, TX 77536

Please REGISTER HERE so we’ll have enough lunch for all!

Your Host: Houston Chapter of Native Prairies Association of Texas

You don’t want to miss this fun day!
We’ll have an iNaturalist class
Come and see a land that looks much as it did in 1836, when the soldiers marched to the Battle of San Jacinto, less than 10 miles away.
enjoy the wildflowers and wildlife at Deer Park Prairie.
take a prairie walk and make some observations,
do some plant pressing to take a piece of the prairie home,
and share lunch! 

In an effort to help Houston win the City Nature Challenge we will be offering a short lesson on use of iNaturalist and will have plant walks and insect sweep netting.

For more information: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call: 713-614-7033.
Please note: by attending this event, you will be placed on our Mailchimp list for the monthly HNPAT newsletter. You may unsubscribe at any time by scrolling to the bottom of the newsletter or by sending an .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to with subject “unsubscribe from HNPAT newsletter”.

April 4, 2018 - Georgetown, TX

CenTex Chapter Monthly Meeting

Wednesday, 6:30-8:30pm

Georgetown Public Library Upstairs Classroom.

Glenn Merkord: “COLLECTING NATIVE FORBS & GRASS SEEDS for RESTORATION & NATIVE LANDSCAPING”

(Photo of Ilinois Bundleflower Desmanthus illinoensis - LBJWC)

OUR AGENDA:
Social: 6:30-7:00pm
Presentation & Seed Exchange: 7:00-8:00pm
Business and Q&A: 8-8:30pm

We welcome Glenn Merkord who will conduct a “hands-on” demonstration and group discussion, excellent “courses of action” toward NPAT’s mission to PROTECT, RESTORE & EDUCATE.

Presentation on How to Collect Native Seeds will include demonstrations of collecting equipment, when & where to collect seeds, examples of seeds that pose special collection challenges, and how to store seeds once collected. Everyone will have these opportunities: improve your skills in collecting seeds and acquire some of those hard to get conservative seeds for gardening, landscaping and restoration activities.
Seed Exchange
-You may have native seeds you can bring to swap, trade, or give away. Please bring them! 
-Glenn will also have native seeds to give away for those who would like them. He has been collecting, storing, and donating native seeds for restoration projects for over 10 years.
About our Presenter, Glenn Merkord
-He is a retired biologist/chemist; Glenn earned his Masters degree in Biology from Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
-NPAT has benefited from Glenn’s generous volunteering as manager of maintenance our Deer Park Prairie Preserve, Deer Park, TX, in the Houston area. He has also volunteered for the restoration of NPAT other projects around the state.
-Glenn is co-owner and senior biologist of Bluestem Environmental Consultants doing consultations and surveys for wildlife management and native restoration projects across Texas.
-He lives in Conroe, TX, with his wife, Pat Merkord, past President and ED of NPAT.

May 1, 2018 - San Antonio, TX

“Landowner Assistance Programs” - Ms. Jamie Killian,

TPWD Biologist for Wilson & Karnes Counties

SA Chapter welcomes Ms. Killian to our Monthly Meeting

Tuesday, beginning at 7:00pm

At the City of San Antonio’s Lions Field Adult and Senior Center. 

OUR AGENDA
7:00 to 7:10pm: Welcome by Don Kirchoff
7:10 to 8:10pm: Presentation by Jamie Killian
(Ms. Killian serves two counties within TPWD’s South Texas “Wildlife District”.)
8:10 to 8:30pm: Q&A and Announcements

May 5, 2018 - Abilene, TX

Urban Wildlife Symposium

Saturday, from 9am-4pm

Hosted by The Big Country Master Naturalist

Taylor County Extension Office 1982 Lytle Way, #B, Abilene, TX 79602
This link will take you to a detailed flyer with the speakers and topics as well as the registration form. 
Cost:$25.00 for the whole day or $15.00 per session. Interested parties will also find a link on the flyer to a registration form. 
For more information, please .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), Assistant Professor, Biology Department, McMurry University, Abilene, TX

Texas Wildflower Sightings - 2018

Where to see spring’s best wildflowers in Central Texas and South Texas

Photo of Texas country road by Sassy Frassy Lassie

BLUEBONNETS ARE HERE!

Spring is wildflower season in Texas!

Visit the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center website, The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, to get an idea of flowers you might find blooming March through May: What’s in season in Central Texas! (They list annual flowers that bloom throughout Texas’s natural areas and gardens.)
LEARN MORE:
Germinating Milkweeds: Support insects by planting Asclepias species;
Top 20 most common wildflowers you’ll see in Texas during spring and summer!

Visit the Center

If you’re anywhere near southwest Austin, taking time to meander through the tranquil Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is well worth it.
Photo from The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

We call her Athena, the Center’s resident owl.

For more than 7 years, the Wildflower Center has been home to a nesting pair of Great Horned Owls (Bubo virginianus). Athena returned February 9, 2018 for another year to raise her owlets! She is hidden and well concealed as she observes visitors from her nest in the corner above the arched wall next to the aqueduct. (While sitting on her eggs her position is lower in the nest; after they hatch, she sits higher and guards her owlets.)  The Center says, Lucky for us and our guests the female has chosen to nest in a very conspicuous place, right above the entrance to our Courtyard in the sotol (Dasylirion wheelieri) planter nestled in the corner. She provides a rare opportunity to view a wild great horned owl rearing her owlets.  Hopefully you’ll spot Athena, as you enter the main garden area!
Photos by Bill J. Boyd
   

THEY GROW UP SO FAST! Athena, had two babies this spring, and they’re growing up before our eyes! The owlets were first spotted on April 3, and we expect them to fledge and leave the nest sometime over the next few weeks.
Grab your binocs and come lay eyes on these adorable fuzzy mugs while you still have the chance. After all, nothing crowns a day quite like a pair of owlets!
LBJWC

June 2, 2018 - U. S. A.

National Prairie Day Celebrated the first Saturday of June every year.

Celebrate the native grasslands in your region and across our nation
Celebrate what we can learn, and have yet to discover, from prairie.
-Become a Sponsor
-Visit a Prairie
-Submit an Event
-Submit an Idea

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