Our Prairie People: Oh Suzanne!
Suzanne Tuttle has been an active NPAT member since the 1990s. She was granted NPAT’s prairie preservationist award in 2022. She currently serves as the treasurer for the Fort Worth Chapter of NPAT and takes the lead in their Prairie Seekers citizen science training program.
Suzanne is a plant ecologist who retired from the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge in 2016 after a 23-year career, first as Natural Resource Manager and later as its Director. She implemented restoration projects in prairies, wetlands, and riparian gallery forests. Tuttle also oversaw the management of the Refuge’s bison herd, worked on several prairie dog reintroductions, and co-developed the feral hog control program.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from UT Arlington and an Associate of Applied Science degree in Horticulture from Tarrant County Junior College (now TCC). She has taught classes for various chapters of the Texas Master Naturalist program since 1999 and is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the Fort Worth Chapter of NPAT and the John Bunker Wetland Center in Combine TX. Suzanne was a founding member of Texas Society for Ecological Restoration, and is a cofounder of the Cross Timbers Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist Program.
She recently received the Greensource DFW Environmental Educator Award. She leads plant walks and workshops throughout North Texas for NPAT, Texas Master Naturalists, and the Native Plant Society of Texas. She also helped launch the Kids on the Prairie Program at Tandy Hills Natural Area in Fort Worth.
In her spare time, Suzanne made it a project to visit every state park in Texas. She reached her goal of visiting all 92 parks last summer at Palmetto State Park. Once reaching that goal, she broadened her travels, and her latest adventure has been in the wilds of Nebraska!
When asked how she got involved with prairies, she gave this answer: “From age 10, when we moved from the East Texas Piney Woods to Dallas County, I was surrounded by undeveloped, degraded Blackland prairie in our neighborhood. I discovered that I preferred big skies and broad horizons to closed canopy forests. Professionally, when I began working at the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge in 1991, I became entranced by prairies as I learned more about how intricate they are. My supervisor, Wayne Clark, was an early (possibly a founding) member of NPAT and recommended I join.”
We think Suzanne is not only an amazing prairie supporter but an all-around class act and a pleasure to work with. We hope to have her around for a very long time.