News Archive

In the News

Funding Available for Urban Conservation Gardens and High Tunnels Applications for the Urban Conservation Project…

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REMAINING December 2017 Chapter Meetings and those planned for January & February, 2018: Please monitor chapter pages (links below) and News & Events pages!…

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Tuesday, 7-8:30 pm San Antonio NPAT Chapter Monthly Meeting“MISSION REACH Ecosystem Restoration and Recreation Project”,  Environmental Sciences, San Antonio…

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Prairie Facts

Current News & Events

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.

Final 2017 & First 2018 NPAT CHAPTER MEETINGS:

REMAINING December 2017 Chapter Meetings and those planned for January & February, 2018:

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

2nd Monday of the Month at 6:30 pm:
Fort Worth Chapter Website.
January 8, 2018 - Our first meetup at our new location (no longer meeting at YMCA). Please come to the 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!  We are very excited!

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.
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 - 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 address the San Antonio Chapter on her monarch / milkweed survey results and some of her observations such as planting nectar food plants near areas of milkweeds.

2nd Tuesday of the Month at 6:30 pm: 
Blackland (Dallas) Chapter Website.
January 9, 2018.
Officers - 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).

1st Wednesday of the Month at 6:30pm:
CENTEX (Central Texas) Chapter (no website yet). 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!

4th Wednesday of the Month at 6:30pm:
Houston Chapter Website. Please monitor our website as LOCATIONS FREQUENTLY CHANGE!
See you January 24, 2018 at our Annual Seed Cleaning Party then at our next meeting, February 28, 2018..

January 2, 2018 - San Antonio, TX

Tuesday, 7-8:30 pm

San Antonio NPAT Chapter Monthly Meeting

“MISSION REACH Ecosystem Restoration and Recreation Project”,  Environmental Sciences, San Antonio River Authority

Location: Lions Field Adult and Senior Center 2809 Broadway, San Antonio, TX

Don’t Miss This!!! Be a part of this growing San Antonio Chapter!

The Presentation by the San Antonio River Authnority Environmental Services Office will address:
Their native prairie restoration efforts along the SA River in the Mission Reach Project and the beneficial outcomes for grassland birds, Monarchs and other wildlife;
Some of the challenges and “lessons learned” as part of the restoration and adaptive management strategy;
How the prairie is part of a mosaic of habitats being restored and how that benefits the urban river ecosystem.
Ms. Lee Marlowe, Sustainable Landscape Ecologist, Environmental Sciences

January 3, 2018 - Georgetown, TX


WEDNESDAY, 6:30-8:30 PM

CenTex NPAT Chapter Meeting

Lisa and Jason Spangler!

Georgetown Library, 402 West 8th Street, Georgetown, Texas 78626:

(This meeting will be held upstairs in the HEWLETT ROOM across the hall from the Classroom.)
Join us as we welcome prairie enthusiasts extraordinaire, Lisa and Jason Spangler!
They will share prairie photos and talk about many other ‘praire-focused’ subjects, including the North American Prairie Conference.

Agenda and program details to follow.

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

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