Update: Past Presentations with video links are now posted here. Links to past newsletters are at this link

City Nature Challenge Starts at 12:01 a.m., Friday, April 30!

Scroll down to see all information about it!

Texas Prairies Yesterday, Today and Concerns for the Future
by Dr. Barron Rector
Associate Professor and Extension Range Specialist,
Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Department of Range, Wildlife and Fisheries Management

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

(Registration required – scroll down for registration link)

Topics to be covered in the presentation will include natural processes of prairies small to large, impacts of urban sprawl and human decisions, restoration of prairies, continued human impact, connecting corridors and value of pocket prairies. The discussion will include how we determine if something good has occurred from our prairie efforts. What would you say is an indication of a positive change from caring for and working on a prairie? What do you measure? Discussion will be a part of this presentation.

Dr. Rector, Extension Range Specialist at Texas A&M University, is with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management. Dr. Rector received his B.S. (1972) and M.S. (1976) in Biology (with an emphasis in Plant Taxonomy) from Angelo State University. He received his Ph.D. (1983) from Texas A&M University in Rangeland Ecology and Management. From 1973 to 1981, he served with Texas AgriLife Research in San Angelo, Texas. His professional experience is biology, chemistry, plant taxonomy, environmental ecology and range animal nutrition. Dr. Rector‘s current program responsibility include urban natural resource program development, rangeland seeding, grazing management, plant ID and youth programming.

Dr. Rector‘s educational programming responsibilities focus on teaching rural and urban constituencies principals of ecology, range monitoring, how to evaluate biological interrelationships of ecosystems. These principals are taught by presentation, development of news articles, popular articles, videos, demonstration and on-site visits. Issues involving urban sprawl and the impact of man on the rangeland ecosystem is an important area of programming interest.

Dr. Rector is recognized nationally and internationally for his plant identification skills, training workshops which include discussing poisonous plant issues, exotic, noxious weed management and plant materials important to agriculture and urban interests in native plants. He is also nationally and internationally known for his work with training youth about natural resources conservation and use, to include the development of youth leadership programs. Barron has received numerous awards for his ability to effectively communicate with clientele about the rangeland resource.

Chat with other participants at 6:30 p.m.; presentation at 7:00 p.m.


Immediately upon registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing the information needed to join the meeting. Please check your spam folder if you do not see the confirmation e-mail in your Inbox.
The easiest way to join the meeting is to simply click on the link provided in the confirmation e-mail. The password is incorporated in the link.

Log in as early as 6:30 PM to work through any connection issues and to chat with your fellow prairie enthusiasts.


City Nature Challenge 2021 starts at 12:01 a.m., Friday, April 30, 2021

The City Nature Challenge (CNC) is a worldwide competition to motivate people to find and document wildlife in their city. Anyone can participate and help Greater Houston win! To participate on the Houston-Galveston Team, just join iNaturalist and upload (within the CNC dates) at least one observation (photo, audio recording, etc.) within our area (see map of area).

Deer Park Prairie open to CNC participants on May 1, 2021, 10 am – 2 pm. More information here. UH Coastal Center gates are open to participants on Friday, April 30 morning. More information at this blog.

The dates of the Challenge are:

April 30-May 3, 2021: Taking pictures and recordings (e.g. bird calls) of wild plants and animals.
May 4 – May 9, 2021: Identifying what was found.

For each “city”, statistics are taken in three categories:

  • The number of different species posted (not including cultivated species)
  • The number of people who participated or who posted at least one entry in that “city”. For a map of the Houston-Galveston Region’s City Nature Challenge Footprint, please click here. Please note that it includes Harris and surrounding counties as well as areas in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The total number of entries posted

Go to https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2021-houston-galveston to sign up (not necessary) and to view local statistics.

More information on previous blog:  Houston-Galveston City Nature Challenge 2021 ,

Other possible locations to observe wildlife at the bottom of this blog: City Nature Challenge Almost Here.


Due to Covid-19:

All HNPAT in person events have been cancelled until further notice unless otherwise indicated on this website.

Deer Park Prairie will be closed to visitors until further notice unless otherwise indicated on this website.


The Native Prairies Association of Texas (NPAT) is a non-profit land trust dedicated to the conservation, restoration, and appreciation of native prairies, savannas, and other grasslands in Texas. In the Houston area, HNPAT is responsible for the management, conservation and educational uses of the Lawther – Deer Park Prairie Preserve in Deer Park, Texas.  All are invited to join our activities, including monthly programs on the 4th Wednesday evening of every month.