HNPAT News/blogs – May, 2014

Published by Houston Chapter on


​Hi all,

HNPAT News & Events for this month (scroll down for details):

  1. Our new website at !
  2. Read & view Photos, blog, & thanks to sponsors for ​Prairie Celebration of 4/5 – if you have photos to post, please attach & reply. (Scroll to bottom for list of sponsors.)
  3. Join us THIS Saturday, 5/17: Field trip to Blackland Prairies of Sam Houston Forest; carpool from Houston or meet there.
  4. Alternative prairie activity on Saturday, 5/17: Guided tour of Buffalo Bayou Park by Jaime Gonzalez & new Meadowlarks.
  5. Next meeting on Thursday, 5/22: Jaime Gonzalez on SURVIVORS: Conserving Prairie Wildlife in the Age of the Sixth Extinction (Prairie Wildlife Series Part III)
  6. Saturday, 5/24Birding field trip to Deer Park Prairie with Damien Carey, 8:00 am.  RSVP by replying
  7. May 29-31 5th Annual State of the Prairie Conference in Fort Worth.
  8. Next Meadowlark training (or prairie docent training: we need you to sing & tell stories about the prairie!) on Wednesday evening, 6/4 with field training on 6/7
  9. Lisa Gray, Chronicle Reporter, on “Greening the News” at Native Plant Society of Texas – Houston Meeting THIS Thursday, May 15.
  10. List of Sponsors of Deer Park Prairie Celebration on April 5.  Please thank them for their support, if you visit their businesses!
  11. Don’t be surprised if in the near future, your HNPAT announcements come from Mail Chimp.  It is a free email service and could take less time than sending out BCC emails in batches.

***************  1  ****************

Explore our new website at

​ !  Check out all the sections, including the calendars – one with general information and one in the Deer Park Prairie Section with all Deer Park Prairie events.

You can sign up to follow the Blogs – which means anytime a blog is posted, you will get them in your mail box.

Email​ any photos or blogs, etc. about any HNPAT or NPAT events to be posted on the website to [email protected]


***************  2  ****************

Read & see photos of our April 5 Prairie celebration by going to this link: Photos, blog, & thanks to sponsors for ​Prairie Celebration .  If you have photos to post, please attach & reply. Thanks to Linda Knowles for most of the photos!

Please read the list of sponsors at link or at bottom of this blog; if you visit their businesses, please thank them for their support of Deer Park Prairie!


***************  3  ****************

THIS Saturday, May, 17: Field trip to Blackland Prairies of Sam Houston Forest: See flyer for details or :

Blackland Prairies are found scattered in the western and north central portions of Sam Houston National Forests (SHNF) on outcrops of the Fleming Formation. Blackland prairies in SHNF are unique eastern outliers of the Fayette Prairie. The Forest Service will take us to view two prairie restoration projects. If time permits, several other prairies may be visited.

What to Bring: Bring a daypack, hat, three quarts of water, binoculars, hiking shoes, camera, field guides, insect repellent, long pants, and enough cash for lunch in Huntsville.

Getting There (two options):

  • Carpooling Option: We will meet in Houston to carpool/caravan at 8:00 a.m. in the parking lot just west of Starbucks (look for Becks Prime) in Meyerland Plaza. Starbucks fronts the 4700 block of Beechnut (south side of Beechnut, near the West Loop South). Look for a silver Honda Civic with lots of bumper stickers.
  • Meet us at Sam Houston National Forest:  Those wishing to meet us there should drive directly to the SHNF District Ranger Office at 394 FM 1375 West, New Waverly, Texas 77358. We will meet the U.S. Forest Service there at 9:30 am.

Register Now!

OR contact Brandt Mannchen at 713-664-5962 or email him at [email protected]


***************  4  ****************

Prairie Tour Along Buffalo Bayou Park

May 17

Free (reservations requested)
Meet in front of the Lee & Joe Jamail Skate Park

Join Buffalo Bayou Partnership and Katy Prairie Conservancy for a docent led tour of the prairie areas in Buffalo Bayou Park, which will eventually have 11 acres of urban prairie land along the Shepherd to Sabine stretch of Buffalo Bayou! Learn more about the importance of prairies and the historical background behind these sites.

For reservations, [email protected] or 713.752.0314 ext. 103

***************  5  ****************

Next HNPAT meeting on Thursday, May 22: SURVIVORS: Conserving Prairie Wildlife in the Age of the Sixth Extinction (Prairie Wildlife Series Part III) by Jaime Gonzalez, Conservation Education Director of Katy Prairie Conservancy and President of Coastal Prairie Partnership

Time: 6:30 pm for Refreshments, 7:00 pm Meeting Begins

Location: 3015 Richmond Ave., 1st Floor Conference room, Parking lot entrance on Eastside.

Did you know that Houston has been home to a grassland for over 100,000 years? During this time the prairie has seen a parade of stampeding elephants, voracious lions, migrating buffalo, and howling wolves. Today’s prairie survivors have overcome two great survival bottlenecks but can they survive what has been called the sixth extinction – the rapid, modern decline in biodiversity playing out worldwide? Join Jaime González as he surveys the incredible diversity of wildlife that survivor on local prairies and get to know the magnificent creatures from times past.

Upcoming Thursday, June 26 meeting: (Rescheduled from February):  Cajun Prairie in Texas = Mardi Grass in June: Mardi Grass: Flora of the Famous Cajun Prairie in Deer Park, Texas by Author and Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Botanist, Jason Singhurst. Jason has done extensive studies of the plants in Deer Park Prairie.

See more upcoming meetings at


***************  6  ****************

Bird Tour of Deer Park Prairie: 

May 24, 2014, 8:00 a.m., RSVP required

Damien Carey, who lead the bird tour at the Prairie Celebration, has agreed to lead another bird tour of Deer Park Prairie on Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 8:00 a.m.  RSVP is required to [email protected].  We will email parking instructions, depending on the number of cars coming.

The photo of the bald eagle over Deer Park Prairie was sent by Mary Anne Weber of Houston Audubon.

***************  7  ****************

May 29-31 5th Annual State of the Prairie Conference in Fort Worth:  Prairie experts from TX, LA, & OK will be presenting!  Field trips, awards dinner, etc. Go to for links to agenda/program ​ and registration​.

New! Attached is updated Flyer with one day registration information.​

Should be a fabulous conference!


***************  8  ****************

Next Meadowlark training (or prairie docent training:  we need you to sing & tell stories about the prairie!) on Wednesday evening, 6/4 with field training on 6/7

Teaching Prairies to City-slickers – Interpretation Training

We need trained storytellers to serve as ambassadors between the a diverse, urban population and our misunderstood local prairies. We call these volunteer ambassadors Meadowlarks. Want to be a Meadowlarkand make a huge difference? Please attend one of the trainings below..

How this Works:

The idea is to learn to tell stories in the classroom about our pocket prairies, city prairies, and other prairies currently without interpretive guides. Then comes field practice on a (pocket) prairie.  After that, Meadowlark trainees can followed trained Meadowlarks (prairie interpreters) when they give tours until the trainees feel comfortable giving his/her own tours.  There will also be written resources online.

When people request tours, an email will go out to those who had taken the class.  Whoever feels comfortable leading that particular group can volunteer. No ceremony when you switch from follower to Meadowlark guide – just volunteer to do a tour.  We would like people who take the training eventually be able to lead tours, but there is no obligation or requirements that they do.

Possible locations: Deer Park Prairie, MD Anderson Pocket Prairie, Hermann Park Pocket Prairies (Whistlestop & Bayou Savannah), Buffalo Bayou Park Pocket Prairie, Willow Waterhole Prairie (SW Houston) – possiblities – Marysee Prairie(?) in E. Texas, UH Coastal Prairie (?).

Go to for more information & to register.


***************  9  ****************

Lisa Gray, Chronicle Reporter, on “Greening the Media” at Native Plant Society of Texas – Houston Meeting THIS Thursday, May 15.

7:00 pm     Meet, Social Time, Refreshments

7:30 pm    Speaker: Lisa Gray

Houston Arboretum (4501 Woodway Drive, 77024)

Lisa Gray

“GREENING THE Media”: with Lisa Gray. How can you encourage media coverage of ecology in general, and native-plant issues in particular? Why are some stories covered in far more depth than others? How did the Deer Park prairie capture the public imagination? Who should you call when a story is breaking? And how does the changing media business affect coverage?

Lisa’s Houston Chronicle columns on Deer Park Prairie were instrumental in saving that rare prairie!

***************  10  ****************

Below is the List of Sponsors of Deer Park Prairie Celebration on April 5. Please thank them for their support, if you visit their businesses!

Thanks to Our Sponsors!

NPAT and HNPAT thank the following Sponsors of the Prairie Celebration for their generous donations that helped make the event a success! Proceeds from the Silent Auction will be used for Deer Park Prairie.

For the Silent Auction

  • Barbara Keller-Willy donated two Monarch Waystations (each 135 sq. ft.): 3 kinds of not-for-sale native milkweed plants (not just the seeds, but actual plants) plus tropical milkweed, minimum variety of 5 native nectar plants to provide a density of 3-5 plants per square yard,  instructions, consulting, and partial co-labor for the installation of a Monarch Waystation in your garden. (Approx. 15 – 20 plants total). Application form will be compiled but bidder must pay the $16 fee to Monarch Watch for signage and certification.
  • Beth Clark of Clark Condon Associates, Inc., 10401 Stella Link Rd, Houston, donated two gift baskets:
    • one Gift Basket with Organic Wines, Crackers, etc. and
    • one Gift Basket with Gardening Iimplements – trowel, gloves, etc.
  • Celeste Mead donated two Watercolors of Deer Park Prairie
  • Coastal Prairie Partnership, donated the book, Cajun Prairie: A Natural History by Malcolm F. Vidrine
  • Cox Hardware, 1923 Wayside Dr, Houston, donated a Case Bone Handled Pocket Knife
  • Danny and Robin Klaes donated Siix Bottles of French and California Wines and Wine Stopper.
  • Diane Humes donated two units of her famous Homemade Pepper Jelly (6 jars) in Bag Made of Prairie T-shirts
  • Frame It, 2604 Center St, Deer Park, donated 2 Frames plus Framing for Two 8 x 11 Photographs by Don Verser taken at Deer Park Prairie.
  • Grand Prize Barbecue, 3002 E. Pasadena Frwy 77502, donated Barbeque Dinner for Two
  • Hank Hilliard donated a Bee Collection – A Bee Tea Pot and Honey Jar, Assorted Bee Server Tools, and 4 Honey Bears of Local Hilliard Honey.
  • Hank Hilliard donated a Framed Watercolor of Dove by Marianne Gould
  • HEB, 3601 Center St, Deer Park, donated $30 Gift Card
  • Hilliard Emissions Control, Inc., 3100 Edloe St., donated an assortment of brooches: Porcelain Bird Pin, Mother of Pearl Dove Pin, Sarah Coventry Costume Silver Sea Gull pin, White Sea Gull pin, Mixed-metals Road Runner Pin, Abalone and Sterling Silver Butterfly Pin, Sterling Silver, Pearl and Malachite Dragonfly Pin, Mamselle Gold Plated Butterfly Pin, Orange and Black Enamel Butterfly Pin, Blue Rhinestone Butterfly Pin
  • Houston Arboretum, 4501 Woodway Dr, Houston, TX 77024, donated two Annual Memberships to the Arboretum
  • Houston Ballet, 601 Preston St., Houston, TX 77002, donated 4 Orchestra Seats to the Ballet Modern Masters. Choice of performances: 7:30 PM on May 22, 24, 30, 31, 2014 or 2:00 PM on May 25, June 1, 2014 (pending availability)
  • Houston Chapter – Native Prairies Association of, donated a Large Decorative Blue and White China Bowl.
  • Houston Museum of Natural Science,  5555 Hermann Park Dr, Houston, donated a Family Pack of 8 Tickets that can be used for entrance to the Museum or the Planetarium or the Cockrell Butterfly Center.
  • Joshua’s Native Plants, 502 W 18th St, Houston, donated a Metal Texas Star for the garden
  • Monument Chevrolet,3940 Pasadena Fwy, Pasadena, donated Oil Changes for One Year Coupon
  • Monument Inn, 4406 Independence Pkwy, La Porte, donated $25 Gift Certificate
  • Munro’s Safety Apparel, 802 Center St, Deer Park donated a pair of LaCrosse Hunting Boots
  • Native Prairies Association of Texas donated 1 year Individual Membership
  • Sally Hilliard donated a San Jacinto Battleground Come and Take It T-shirt.
  • Sally Hilliard donated a Butterfly Basket with Butterfly Gardening Book and Assorted Butterfly Objects
  • Sarah Smith, donated a Hand-made Mosaic Table Top.
  • Whole Foods Market, 2955 Kirby Dr, Houston, donated a Gift Basket for a Picnic on the Prairie.

140405 Linda Knowles - IMG_5776CrMed


For Prairie Plant Lovers:  Kelly Walker, plant rescuer extraordinaire, has rescued Liatris acidota, or sharp blazing star, not available in nurseries, from a to be developed prairie remnant near the Katy Prairie and planted them in pots.  These mature corms took years to grow from seed.  They are gifts for donations to NPAT for Deer Park Prairie: minimum $10 / per gallon pots and $15 / larger pots.  The thinner Liatris acidota blooms a bit earlier than the thicker and much taller L. pycnostachya that was in many Deer Park Prairie photos in August/September 2011.  However, according to Thomas Adams, botanist for the Mid-Coast National Wildlife Refuge, the Liatris acidota grows best in clay soil.  They grow in full sun and once established will survive the summer without supplemental irrigation.  Due to their smaller size, they would perhaps work better in a city garden.  See photo of seed collecting in a field of L. acidota at Deer Park Prairie;  L. acidota at Deer Park Prairie, October, 2011;

Other donations that supported the event:

  • HEB, 3601 Center St, Deer Park, TX 77536, donated $40 gift certificate for food for volunteers
  • Frost Bank donated $100.
  • Many volunteers donated their time!
Categories: Houston Chapter