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In the News

Winter Duldrums Got You Down?  Check out these Houston NPAT events on their website! January 15, 2018 at 9:30 am – 12:00 pm…

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#WatershedWise Volunteer Gardener Program’s Application Deadline - Friday, January 26, 2018 We posted our report on NPAT’s San Antonio Chapter’s first 2018 monthly meeting January…

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What do these NPAT members have in common? Kim Conrow, Fort Worth, Susan Gregory, Dallas; Bill Hopkins, Fort Worth; Linda Knowles, Houston; Martha Peet, Fort…

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Prairie Facts

Past News & Events

December 11, 2017 - Fort Worth, TX


FWNPAT’s December MEET-UP; a.k.a. “Holiday Prairie Feast”

FYI: We have a new meet-up location as of 2018:

Tarrant County College – South Campus, Center for Excellence in Energy Technology (a LEED certified building with wind turbine), located at 5301 Campus Drive in Fort Worth.

December 12, 2017 - Dallas, TX

Blackland Chapter Holiday Shindig with Milo’s Christmas Tamale Celebration

Tuesday from 6:30 to 9 pm

This party is also a fundraiser for the Bob Uhler Jesuit Scholarship Fund.

A $10 donation will be requested which will entitle you to plenty of tamales, two draft beers, and a raffle. (You can also order off the regular menu.)

LOCATION: Milo Butterfingers, 5645 SMU Boulevard at Greenville, Dallas, TX 75206

Rideshare if you can as there is LIMITED PARKING behind Milo’s and on SMU Blvd.
We gather in the open and rambling spaces of Milo to recount a year saving prairie spaces and tip a few to congratulate ourselves.

Seed Collecting - 12/13/17

Seed collecting is a leisurely way to enjoy the prairie and learn about prairie grasses!
Our first was held on Saturday, November 18…. two more are scheduled in December!
Join friends and family for outdoor fun while gathering seeds ripe for collecting.
No experience necessary as we work to support numerous organizations in the region.
Make an impact and visit prairies often not open to the public. 

Check out the Houston NPAT Website for details on meeting, carpooling, etc.
Wednesday, 12/13 9am-11:30am @ Katy Prairie Conservancy

Photos from “Seed Collecting - October, 2017”

Deer Park Prairie, October 10, 2017:

Nash Prairie, October 14, 2017:

Apply before 12-15-17: USDA Funding Texas Conservation Gardens

Funding Available for Urban Conservation Gardens and High Tunnels

Applications for the Urban Conservation Project are due by December 15, 2017. Details on our Blog

In an effort to address food deserts and educating urban citizens and youth on the benefits of locally grown fresh produce and greening of the urban landscape, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) is accepting applications to establish community and pollinator gardens and seasonal high tunnels through the Texas NRCS Urban Conservation Project.
Preference will be given to Monarch butterfly gardens in the following counties because of their strategic location within the Monarch butterfly’s flight paths during their spring and fall migrations: Atascosa, Bastrop, Bell, Bexar, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Comal, Dallas, Ellis, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Hays, Johnson, Kaufman, Kendall, Kerr, Lee, Limestone, Llano, Navarro, McLennan, Palo Pinto, Parker, Tarrant, Travis, Williamson, and Wilson.
USDA is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender.


Chapter Meetings for January & February, 2018:

Please monitor chapter pages (links below) and News & Events pages!

1st Tuesday of the Month, 7-8:30pm: San Antonio NPAT Chapter
January 2, 2018 - “MISSION REACH Ecosystem Restoration and Recreation Project”, Environmental Sciences, by the San Antonio River Authority welcomes Ms. Lee Marlow, Sustainable Landscape Ecologist and Mr. Justin Krobot, Landscape Superintendent.
February 6, 2018 - “Texas Natives Program and how Douglass King Seeds Assists in the Process”, Presentation by Douglass King Seeds, San Antonio, TX.
March 6, 2018 - “Monarch / Milkweed Survey Results” by Janis K. Bush, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Environmental Science and Ecology; Professor of Environmental Science at UT San Antonio’s College of Sciences will also discuss her observations such as planting nectar food plants near areas of milkweeds.

1st Wednesday of the Month at 6:30pm: CENTEX (Central Texas) Chapter
(We meet at the Georgetown Public Library Upstairs Classroom; the time we begin each meeting is subject to room availability.) 
January 3, 2018 - Our first 2018 meeting! We will welcome Lisa and Jason Spangler who will be speaking on the North American Prairie Conference and sharing their PRAIRIE PHOTOS!
February 6, 2016 - Plan to attend our meeting (this month we’ll meet in the Hewlett Room (across from the usual Classroom).

2nd Monday of the Month at 6:30 pm: Fort Worth Chapter Website.
January 8, 2018 - We are EXCITED to be able to meet in this LEED certified building (you will know you’re there when you see the wind turbine). Please come to the Tarrant County College South Campus, Center for Excellence in Energy Technology, located at 5301 Campus Drive in Fort Worth!  (NOTE: We will no longer meet at YMCA.)

2nd Tuesday of the Month at 6:30 pm: Blackland (Dallas) Chapter Website.
January 9, 2018 - Blackland Chapter “BNPAT” was founded in 2014 when initial officers were elected for a two-year period. This January, BNPAT switches to the annual election of officers: president (coordinates chapter activities), vice-president (assists and arranges speakers), treasurer (keeps books), and secretary (takes notes on meetings). Won’t you please step up? Contact current chapter president, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

4th Wednesday of the Month at 6:30pm: Houston Chapter Website. Please monitor our website as LOCATIONS FREQUENTLY CHANGE!
January 24, 2018 is our Annual Seed Cleaning Party.
Our next HNPAT Chapter Meeting is scheduled for February 28, 2018.

REPORT: November 14: “Nature lovers wouldn’t let this prairie disappear”

Houston Chronicle November 14, 2017, by Don Maines
A patch of coastal prairie in Deer Park is “the rarest of rare” remnants of Texas’ natural heritage, says conservationist Lan Shen. 
“Visitors to the Lawther-Deer Park Prairie Reserve see the same landscape that Sam Houston’s soldiers saw when they marched toward the San Jacinto battleground in 1836!”
“The prairie is also about our future,” she added, explaining that many nature groups visit the reserve to gather seeds of native plants that they scatter in fields at other ecosystem conservation centers.”

REPORT: November 8 - Pat Merkord’s Presentation to NTMN Chapter!

Pat Merkord’s “photo talk” November 8 at the monthly meeting of the North Texas Master Naturalist Chapter on “Grasslands Wildlife”.

Before beginning her talk, Pat announced some very exciting news: “Fundraising for Mathews Prairie reached its $50,000 goal just hours before!” The 100 acres of rare Blackland Prairie will be saved! Pat announced that a celebration party will be planned for January in the Arlington/mid-cities area, and a BIO-BLITZ for Mathews will occur next spring! 

“Grasslands Wildlife”
Pat showed photos of birds, bugs and a few mammals from preserves that NPAT owns or has conservation easements on including Daphne Prairie, Maddin Prairie Preserve, and the Mathews Prairie as well!
She confirmed a significant drop in insect counts at all prairies. Bugs are the bottom of the food chain and a major source of protein for many animals.
Another prairie resident in steep decline are Eastern Meadowlarks.
Maddin Prairie Preserve: Especially fascinating was Pat’s tale of the ups and downs of establishing a black-tailed prairie dog colony on the 11,000 acre.
-Prairie dogs are gathered from Abilene and Lubbock area and taken to Maddin; there are NO legal protections for prairie dogs. (Prairie Dogs in those areas are destined to be drowned, gassed, or shot by developers and ranchers. Artificial burrows of buried PVC pipe with cages over the entrances start the process.)

-Maddin also boasts significant horned lizzards and burrowing owl populations:

-A Winter Bird Survey will be held at Maddin on December 9 & 10, 2017.
2018 Plans include:
-A prairie seed collecting workshop is being developed,
-A tour of Daphne is being planned for next spring;

-Throughout the 2018 calendar year NPAT will receive Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s grant funds from sales of TPWD’s “Conservation License Plate.”  NPAT’s grant application was approved by TPWD for us to “Map and Document the Current Ecological Condition of Silveus’ Dropseed Prairies (which are Globally Rare)”, in a specific area which includes “prairie remnants in northeast Texas east of DFW”.  The selection of conservation license plates includes: a “HUMMINGBIRD”, a “RATTLESNAKE”, or a “HORNED LIZARD”! As each license plate is purchased during 2018, the buyer may designate “Native Prairies Association of Texas” to receive designated CLP funds:

REPORT: October 14 Field Trip to Mathews/Clymer Meadows Prairies

Blackland NPAT Chapter’s Field Trip

by Leigh Ann Ellis

Brandon Belcher IS THE BEST! We adore him!! (he’s the North Texas Preserves Manager for TNC). He spent a lot of time with us, guiding us around the prairies.
Folks had a challenging time walking in Paul Mathews Prairie: It is dense and the indentions made walking hazardous for a few. Walking sticks were a big help.
A few folks left after lunch due to the heat. The forecasts called for low 90’s, but around Greenville it reached 95 degrees. 
We all sat together for lunch which was nice. It was good to hear all of the comments and feedback. A few folks said they like the smaller tour groups (in total, 8 folks attended). It was easier for group mobility and hearing the guide. I thought that was interesting. (Something to keep in mind for the future.)
We did gather a few grass seeds from Clymer for the future Texas Native Seeds Project…small amounts.  We left Clymer around 3pm.
Next month is Cedar Ridge Preserve with Tom Willard.

Thanks for everything!
Leigh Ann Ellis

November 10-12, 2017 - Denton, TX

Friday thru Sunday

Texas Society for Ecological Restoration

“Resilience & Connectivity at Our Roots”

TXSER’s Annual Conference will be held at the University of North Texas

We have lots of exciting indoor and outdoor activities planned allowing for opportunities to network with colleagues, get your hands dirty on restoration activities, and learn. 
All the details are on TXSER’s conference website.

November 11 & 12, 2017 Georgetown & Dallas, TX

LAST 2 NPSOT Level 3 Landscaping Classes!

1-day classes are part of the Native Landscaping Certification Program; the series teaches best practices for native plant landscaping – including wildlife habitat gardening.
Classes are open to the public and intended to be useful both to homeowners and professionals NPSOT_2017_FALL_LANDSCAPING_CLASSES.pdf.
Three levels are offered; anyone may register for a Level 1 class;
Level 1 is a PREREQUISITE for advancing to Level 2 and Level 3;
For more information or, to complete a mail-in registration, email a request to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call Meg Inglis at 512.589.1316.

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