Blog Archive

In the News

MONTHLY NATURE WALK AND WORK DAY at INDIANGRASS PRAIRIE! Sundays from 7:30 am to noon • Bird and nature walk begins at 7:30 am.…

Read more of this >>

Annual Seed Cleaning PartyFREE PIZZA will be provided by the Katy Prairie Conservancy!! 6:30pm in the Red Cross Building located…

Read more of this >>

SAVE THE DATEHELP ROLL SEED BALLS!Saturday, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. Tarrant County Resource Connection Benefiting the riparian restoration…

Read more of this >>

Prairie Facts

Our Blog

PAUL MATHEWS PRAIRIE CELEBRATION - December 1, 2018

Thursday, Jan 03, 2019

We continue to share our year-end collection of photos graciously offered by several NPAT photographers who provided a variety of images throughout the day and evening.

Our thanks to Denise Costello, Amy Martin, Ann Sansome, and Anne Weis. Your photos will all be posted soon - for posterity!

We met around 1pm in Floyd, TX at a parking lot located directly across from the Paul Mathews Prairie. 
Brandon Belcher, with The Nature Conservancy who holds the conservation easement, had graciously mowed a narrow trail for us to follow into the very center of this prairie.
A thunderstorm had passed through the area the night before leaving very cool and clear conditions as well as a bit of brisk wind.  Light jackets were just what we needed to feel comfortable, and rubber boots were a good idea! 
The rain left the ground a bit soggy, but the prairie grasses absorbed most of it so you didn’t really sink. 
It was amazing to see the prairie’s many galgai. Everyone had to watch our steps!  You couldn’t gaze across the prairie without first securing your footing!

It was an AMAZING EXPERIENCE.  Despite the fact the vegetation had frozen a month before leaving everything brown, each species was a different shade of brown.  You could recognize plants: Maximilian sunflower, bushy bluestem, beebalm, sedges, and more that made a striking bouquet!

Celebrating the Paul Mathews Prairie!!

Sunday, Dec 30, 2018

A day of celebrating NPAT’s beautiful prairie near Floyd, TX, not far from Greenville on Saturday, December 1, 2018!

Preparations for the evening celebration at the historic “Landmark on Lee Street” began months in advance with the goal of creating a celebratory atmosphere with delicious food and perhaps even a ‘pot-luck dessert table’! 

It was a Saturday afternoon and evening celebrating this THRIVING native prairie!  The night before brought heavy thunderstorms, but the morning opened with bright sunshine, a clear sky, cool temperatures, and a very brisk north breeze!  The prairie welcomed several enthusiasts who walked over the numerous galgai while admiring the dried formerly frost-bitten flora, and we even disturbed a few sedge wrens from their warm protected nesting places out of the wind. Our prairie tour ended after a couple of fast-passing hours.

NPAT friends and members had waited to celebrate having purchased this remnant prairie, we took advantage of this weekend’s events and shared quality time with individuals we don’t usually have the opportunity to share such rich experiences. We also became acquainted with Paul Mathews, life-long resident of Greenville and a most dedicated conservationist!

We were introduced to and intrigued by wonderful speakers who focused on the man, Paul Mathews!  (The small community of Greenville was a place where everyone knew everyone. The Mathews family lived in Greenville, very near this pristine prairie where Paul was able to spend many days throughout his 101 years of life! He grew up and achieved his dream; he purchased ‘Paul’s Prairie’! ) Paul Mathews was a true conservationist. Texas Parks & Wildlife Department awarded him their distinguished Lone Star Land Steward Award in 1998 Celebrating Excellence in Private Land Conservation. (Established in 1996, the annual Lone Star Land Steward Award recognizes and honors private landowners in Texas for their contributions to natural resource conservation and management.)

The Saturday evening program began with Pat Merkord, retired NPAT executive director, reviewing NPAT and our Chapters’ accomplishments and goals on our 2019 horizon. She then introduced the crowd to NPAT’s history with the Paul Mathews Prairie and concluded with our ability to purchase it thanks to so many VERY GENEROUS individuals, securing its protection! 
-Amy read a letter from one of Mr. Matthews’ friends, Jim Eidson, whose humorous remembrances made everyone feel we knew Mr. Mathews.
-We were introduced to a gentleman few of us knew, Dr. Jim Conrad.  Having grown up in Greenville, he knew Paul Mathews and shared his dedication to preserve native resources.  Dr. Conrad approached Mr. Mathews as a potential buyer and convinced him he would continue Paul’s efforts and preserve his prairie. (The property retained Paul Mathews’ name instead of Dr. Conrad requesting NPAT to identify it by another.)  Dr. Conrad’s quiet demeanor blossomed as he recalled the relationship between Paul Mathews and himself, adding to the evening’s light-hearted atmosphere!  We very much appreciate Dr. Conrad taking time to join our evening celebration. 
-TNC’s Brandon Belcher, caregiver of Paul Mathews Prairie; author, Matt White; NPAT board member, David Bezanson; and NPAT interim executive director, Kirsti Harms, addressed the group as well. 

Many NPAT members solicited donations for our first attempt at a ‘silent auction’; we knew we would need to raise additional monies to cover expenses of our Celebration.  The photos reflect items donated by generous individuals and organizations; the silent auction was more successful than we anticipated.  We extend a ‘BIG thank you’ to those who contributed to the Paul Mathews Silent Auction!  We appreciate their generous support:
Bob Jones Nature Center; Botanical Research Institute of Texas; Conservation History Association of Texas; Douglass King Seeds; Friends of the Fort Worth Nature Center; Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary; Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center; Lake Lewisville Environmental Learning Area; Native American Seed, Cool River Cabin; The Nature Conservancy Texas; River Legacy Living Science Center; Texas Discovery Gardens; Texas Master Naturalist; Trader Joe’s; Treehouse Dallas; Trinity River Audubon Center; Turner Seeds; and Weston Gardens.

“Here’s to Paul Mathews!!” Your legacy is protected in perpetuity!”

Photos of the day and evening courtesy of Amy Martin and Denise Costello:

A colorful mural of downtown Greenville:

Ready to walk:                                                    Brandon Belcher, TNC, guiding tour. 
 

                                                                          Beautiful, even after frosts, is the
Anne Weis admiring Paul Mathews Prairie:              fluffy bushy bluestem (Andropogon glomeratus)
 

Paul Mathews Prairie’s neighbor: a solar farm; works out well!

Our evening celebration of this Greenville-area prairie was held in the Landmark on Lee Street in Greenville. This restored hall served as the U.S. Post Office, site where many young men and women signed up to serve our country during WWII.
 

                                                                            Dr. Conrad grew up in Greenville and knew
                                                                            Paul Mathews well. He vowed to continue Paul’s
Amy Martin reading Jim Eidson’s letter                     legacy when he purchased the land from him,
remembering Paul Mathews:                                    and NPAT and TNC will do the same.
   

                                                                          Everyone enjoyed each other’s company
Matt White addressed the group:                                    and delicious food!
 

Here is a peek at the great hall where multiple tables were setup to accommodate all the donated items for the silent auction.  A very wide variety was available, books, seeds, artifacts, matted photos of NPAT prairies, hand-made textile items, DVDs, art work, and much more!

Remembering John Pickett

Wednesday, Aug 29, 2018

John Howell Pickett, Jr. passed away Saturday, August 11, 2018.
His family and a multitude of friends gathered Thursday, August 16, 2018,
for a Day of Celebration of John’s Life.

He shared his very fulfilling life with Dana, his wife of 63 years. They raised their family in the Glen Rose and Fort Worth areas of Texas. He was a very well-educated man with a deep appreciation for the life he and Dana created for their family, three children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandsons.

He is described as having a deep love for nature and was grateful for the opportunity to create a new home for his family in 1986, “overlooking the Paluxy River in Glen Rose, Texas.” He worked to restore their plot of land;  “John—always a lover of nature—developed a passion for native plants. The Glen Rose home became a contemplative place where all the family could appreciate nature, especially for the grandchildren who brought him unending pride and delight.” (Brown Owens & Brumley Family Funeral Home).

NPAT’s Board and Staff are sincerely grateful to have had the opportunity to get to know John and work with him during the time he served on our board of directors and led us as our President.  We cherish his appreciation of nature and love of ‘restoring his own prairie’. He was a strong supporter of our organization. We offer our deepest sympathy to Dana and their entire family.

NPAT is very grateful to Dana Pickett and Family for including NPAT in John’s legacy, requesting “in lieu of flowers, donations in John’s honor be made to the Native Prairies Association of Texas or to St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church.”

Prairies and More Tour - June 16, 2018

Thursday, Aug 02, 2018

PHOTOGRAPHS SHARED by PARTICIPANTS

Thank you to each photographer for sharing these images taken while touring
Matthew Cartwright-Roberts Prairie near Terrell, 
Ebel Grassland Ranch, Sulphur Bluff,
Lennox Woods Preserve near Clarksville, and
Mr. B. F. Hicks, Daphne Prairie, Mt. Vernon.

Photographer: Gary Barton, “I regret not taking more photos.
Thank you for planning the wonderful tour. It, like the other two, was fun and educational.”


The group ends the day walking Daphne Prairie.

Photographer: Mike Degroot

       
Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia hirta                                                                    Ebel Grassland Ranch

False Dragonhead Physostegia digitalis blooms being
visited by two Gray Hairstreak Butterflies Strymon melinus

Photographer: Ellen Guiling,
“So fun! I didn’t even know a hayride would be involved!! Also got a hayride on Daphne!”

       
Antelope Horn Milkweed Asclepias asperula                                  Ready to transport prairie enthusiasts
Seed pods, Matthew Cartwright-Roberts Prairie                                         around Ebel Grassland Ranch

       
Rattlesnake Master Plant                                                                 Mushroom hiding in Lennox Forest  
Matthew Cartwright-Roberts Prairie

 

Enthusiasts touring Daphne Prairie

Photographer, Masako, “thanks for taking me to the bus trip I really enjoyed it.”

Daphene Prairie (Black eyed Susan and common yarrow)


 
American basketflower (foreground)                            Close up of Prairie Indian Plantain,
Prairie Indian Plantain (background)  Matthew Cartwright-Roberts Prairie


Photographer, Terri White,
   
Walking the Prairie                                                   Waining wildflowers; prairie grasses gone to seed

Thistle ‘Ready & Waiting For Pollinators!’

 

Photographer, Kelly Crawford,
Green Bee on Sunflower at Daphne Prairie

Land Trusts Continue Push for Farm Bill and Conservation Easement Legislation in D.C.

Friday, Jun 08, 2018

The Farm Bill is set for another vote in late June, 2018.

H.R. 4459 Needs Additional Co-Sponsors

The Texas Land Trust Council and our member organizations must continue to reach out to our Texas Senators, Cornyn & Cruz, as well as all of our U.S. House members.

Ask them to pass a Farm Bill that has a strong conservation title.

While the initial Farm Bill vote in May failed in the House, there will be a second vote later this month. The politics are complicated, but the current House version of the Farm Bill contains essentially all of the land trust community’s requests for improvements and funding to the conservation easement programs that the Farm Bill funds. While the bill is not perfect, it represents the largest federal funding source for conservation easements to protect lands with agricultural, wildlife, water and other natural resource values.
Please contact your reps and let them know that you support the Farm Bill
Farm Bill Link: https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/115/hr2/text
Link to State Representatives: https://www.texastribune.org/directory/#us_congress_tab
Conservation related news from Texas and beyond…

Page 1 of 27 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »