Our Prairie People: Mapping the Future

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Tina, above in the front row wearing a blue TX Prairies shirt, is with NPAT members, partners, and staff at the Blackland Chapter’s Indigo Hills Prairie tour in April 2023.

Tina Rust
An environmental planner specializing in archaeology and GIS mapping. She works hard to preserve important historical and natural sites for the future!

NPAT Member since 2017 &
Blackland Chapter Board Member since 2023

NPAT Member Tina Rust

By Jody Cross

When she needs to come up with an idea or a new plan of action, Tina says she thinks better when she is outside. I am willing to bet that most of us reading this can relate to that feeling.

Tina Rust joined NPAT in 2017 after her friend, Greg Tonian, steered her toward the organization. Over five years ago, another friend asked Tina to help him start a different nonprofit for prairie conservation. While that project is no longer, it sparked Tina’s initial interest in prairies and grassland restoration. It launched her into a new world of learning, including taking a Master Naturalist course with field trips related to prairies. Many of those excursions were sponsored by the Fort Worth and Blackland Chapters of NPAT. Eventually, this led to Tina joining the Native Prairies Association of Texas as a member. More recently, Tina has also joined the Blackland Chapter Board. There she has been responsible for producing newsletters, making announcements, and helping with membership.

Through her continued experiences and talking with like-minds around the metroplex, Tina realized that prairies speak to individuals in unique ways. She heard about topics like biodiversity, tradition, resilience, and beauty that all made an important impact on their lives. Tina likes to go out and share what she has learned with new people to make them aware of this precious ecosystem because, like them, she was unaware before she joined the North Texas community.

Tina said she joined NPAT as a member to share positive connections about nature with others. This has been a good conduit for her to engage in this way. She has heard other people say they feel the same, so she is very happy to support an organization that encourages this type of engagement and learning.

When asked what her most memorable experience is from being in nature, Tina replied, “While I was on a field trip during a Texas Society for Ecological Restoration (TXSER) conference in Houston, we got out of the van and were supposed to stand at the end of a boardwalk and listen to our guide.  I walked to the end of the boardwalk, looked around, and realized that everyone else had darted in different directions, taking photos of plants, kneeling to get better views of grasses, and hunting for species.  Our guide had to follow us around to talk with us. Naturalists are such a fun, fascinating group of people because they’re fascinated with the world outside of themselves. ” — Tina Rust

Tina’s favorite prairie species is Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium), as well as the elusive prairie dog.

Thank you, Tina, for bringing your talents and enthusiasm for native prairies to Texas! We are grateful to you and all of our members. If you are not yet an NPAT member, learn more about it HERE.

An adventurous group at the Abraham Shipsey Memorial Prairie of Clymer Meadow

Close up photograph taken by Tina Rust of a katydid resting on a native flower