Blaze and Graze and other upcoming events

Published by Houston Chapter on

NPAT email on October 3, 2014

Fall is a busy time for Texas prairies!
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Pat Merkord speaks to chapters

Native Prairies Association of Texas

Invites you to…

2nd Annual Blaze and Graze:
A Prairie Celebration

Join us for tours and dinner!

When: Afternoon and evening of Saturday, November 8
Where: Mustang Creek Country Club, Taylor, TX
Cost: $50 per person (children 14 years and under are free)
Come to one or all events – cost covers all plus dinner
Proceeds support NPAT efforts to conserve and restore native prairies.

Prairie Tours:
Tours will run throughout the day at local prairie sites. Choose from birding, grass & forb identification, butterfly and insect surveys, a general prairie tour, local blackland prairie history and more. Check our website for updates and details.

Prairie Celebration Dinner:
Join NPAT at the Mustang Creek Country Club in Taylor for dinner, presentations on local blackland prairies and volunteer appreciation awards. A silent auction will feature prairie photography and other items.



October is Prairie Month!

The Blackland (Dallas) Chapter presents:

The Blackland (Dallas) NPAT chapter will host a presentation by author and prairie expert Matt White.

What: Blacklands NPAT chapter monthly meeting
When: Monday, October 6 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Where: Dallas Academy, 950 Tiffany Way, Dallas, TX (west side of Lake Highlands and Buckner Blvd.) in the Cafeteria/Auditorium

“Our misunderstandings of the prairie is still evident in the way we use language to describe our experience there. When prairie enthusiasts speak to each other about visiting a native prairie we always describe ourselves as being on the prairie. But to know the prairie you have to go into it-the same way you would go into a forest. A healthy native prairie has height and structure and is thus three-dimensional, but to see this requires us to a look a little more carefully— to change our perspective and our way of thinking.” page 19 – Matt White, author of Prairie Time: A Blackland Portrait

Author and Blackland prairie expert, Matt White will speak. Copies of his books Prairie Time: A Blackland Portrait and The Birds of Northeast Texas will be available for purchase. Cash or check accepted.

Osage Moon Field Trip – November 15th, mid-day

Amy Martin and Scooter Smith invite you to explore Osage Moon, an hour northeast of Dallas in Fannin County near Bonham. Three small parcels—a 1930 family homestead, a 22-acre horse farm, and an abandoned parcel of woods—were combined into 75 acres of wildlife habitat reclamation with 6 miles of trails.

For 20 years we’ve fostered prairies and battled invasives such as cedar/juniper, lespedeza and KM bluestem. Sometimes successfully! Sometimes not. We’d enjoy showing you what we’ve learned and hope to learn much from you as well.

Discover how tallgrass prairie resurrection efforts in a former Bermuda pasture compare to prairie in an abandoned pasture taken over by cedar infestation. See how chemical agriculture in a former cotton field impacted prairie resurrection efforts. Learn about the Texas program of converting family farms and ranches to wildlife habitat while retaining the deeply discounted ag tax rate. About 1 mile of hiking.

For woods aficionados, take an optional additional 1.5 mile hike into Osage Moon’s Back Forty: 40 acres abandoned since the late 1800s and overgrown with invasive trees. See how thinning an overgrown cedar elm forest rejuvenated the understory. Understand the stages of cedar/juniper infestation, its devastation of groundcover and understory, and impact on erosion. Visit the Secret Grove, where seeps allow hardwoods to keep cedar at bay. Take the Funky Trunk crossing to the Moonrise Meadow, where removing cedars enabled KM bluestem to gain the upper hand.

Fans of sustainable building will appreciate Osage Moon’s passive solar, high efficiency, concrete home designed by Gary Olp. You are invited to share a potluck lunch before hiking and discuss efforts to turn Fannin County into a nature destination and waterfowl corridor.


The Houston Chapter presents:


Thursday, October 23 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
at Lawther – Deer Park Prairie Preserve

Location: 1222 E. Purdue Lane, Deer Park, TX 77536

Ghosts and Goblins (Friends of NPAT all!) are invited for a night of creepy critter snacks and a view the bone collection! Includes a prairie-themed Halloween costume contest. Come in a costume or dressed as you are. Prizes will be awarded to winners.
A presentation on haunted prairie cemeteries, ghosts, ghost towns and the strange creatures of the prairie will follow with a ghostly night walk across the prairie to the edge of the cemetery and back (hopefully!). Wear walking shoes, bring plenty of insect repellant and a flashlight or headlamp for the walk across the prairie. Parking is available at the church down the street or in front of the house.


Saturday, October 25

Join NPAT and the Houston Sierra Club on a field trip to several prairies and savannahs in the Big Thicket. We will first visit Marysee Prairie, which is the only native prairie in the Big Thicket that has been preserved. We will then visit Hickory Creek Savannah Unit of Big Thicket National Preserve to view a Longleaf Pine – Little Bluestem Savannah. Finally, we will visit the Watson Rare Native Plant Preserve to see a Wetland Pine Savannah.

For more details, go to

The Blackland Chapter presents:

, October 6 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

At the Dallas Academy, 950 Tiffany Way, (west side of Lake Highlands and Buckner Blvd.) in the Cafeteria/Auditorium
Author and Blackland prairie expert, Matt White will speak. Copies of his books Prairie Time: A Blackland Portrait and The Birds of Northeast Texas will be available for purchase. Cash or check accepted.

The Fort Worth Chapter presents:


Saturday, October 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
at Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT)

1700 University Drive, Fort Worth
Pat Merkord, Executive Director of Native Prairies Association of Texas will show how to acquire skills to recognize native remnant prairies in this hands on workshop that will train you to recognize indicator species, how to use the internet to locate potential prairie sites, how to record data and report it. Identification of major native prairie grasses and indicator forbs will be focused on with lots of specimens to work with. BRIT’s beautiful outdoor landscaping with native prairie plants will provide an outdoor opportunity to see live specimens and we will have lunch on the grounds, so please bring a sack lunch and walking shoes.
Cost of Workshop: $25 Members and $35 Non-Members, $10 Students (must bring student ID to the workshop)


Monday, October 13, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

at the Presbyterian Church at 8700 Chapin Road, Fort Worth, TX 76116
This meeting features a presentation by Don and Debra Young of Tandy Hills Natural Area. This is part of a series of presentations on the prairies of the Fort Worth area.


Saturday October 18th
Tandy Hills Natural Area

Location: 3400 View Street, Fort Worth 76103
Join the Fort Worth chapter for a hike at the 160 acre remnant of Fort Worth prairie. Details coming!

The Fort Worth NPAT Chapter Meeting:

When: August 11, 2014, 6:30 to 8:00 PM
Location: Westside Presbyterian Church,
8700 Chapin Road, Fort Worth, TX 76116

Join us for the second official meeting of the Fort Worth Chapter of Native Prairies Association of Texas.

At this meeting we will be deciding on programs and projects for the upcoming year. This will be a very important meeting to get the organization going.
There will also be a brief presentation on Conservation Easements.

In June, a meeting was held in Fort Worth to determine the desire to form a new Fort Worth NPAT chapter. The response was overwhelming with 45 attending the meeting.
A steering committee was formed to provide an agenda for the meeting and come up with proposals for the coming year.

Congratulations Fort Worth prairie enthusiasts and members on your efforts and support to protect our native prairie heritage!

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