W, 12/9 Holiday Potluck Details


Yaupon Holly (Ilex vomitoria). Photo: Page, Lee; Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Everyone is invited to join the Houston Chapter, Native Prairies Association of Texas for its annual

HNPAT Holiday Potluck
Prairie Seed & Plant Swap — Silent Auction

Please come at 6:00 p.m. to help us setup or
at 6:30 p.m. for refreshment & silent auction viewing / bidding.
Dinner starts at 7:00 p.m.
Meeting Program starts at 7:20 p.m.
  • Wrapup of 2015 by Pat Merkord, Executive Director, NPAT
  • Plans for 2016 and requests for help (see below)
Location: Cherie Flores Pavilion in
McGovern Centennial Gardens @ Hermann Park.
1500 Hermann Drive, Houston 77004
(parking lot entrance is directly across the street from the Health Museum)
Approximate GPS location: https://goo.gl/maps/j8msQ
Many thanks to Diane Kerr and the Gulf Coast Master Naturalists for letting us borrow their table cloth, decorations, and party chafing pans.
A dish to share – vegetable, appetizer, dessert, etc. Meat, bread, and more will be provided by HEB, which generously donated a gift card for the Prairie Conference. So, please come, even if you cannot not bring a dish. If you know ahead of time, what you are planning to bring, please RSVP to HNPAT@TexasPrairie.org

Because of the Houston Zoo’s generosity in supplying the lunch and some of the snacks on Thursday & Friday of the Prairie Conference, HEB’s generously donated gift card was used for lunch and snacks at the Lawther – Deer Park Prairie Preserve’s Teacher’s Workshop & the Texas City Prairie Preserve’s Restoration Workshop. We will be using the residual funds on the gift card to purchase meat and more for the holiday potluck.

Prairie plants and/or seeds for the swap. You do not have to bring anything to take plants/seeds home. A few choice plants might be given out as door prizes.

Money or checkbook for silent auction: framed photos, baskets, one hand blown glass vase, nature serving platter, 2015 & 2014 Prairie Conferences t-shirts (see below for photo). See sections below on “Chapter Finance” and photos of a few silent auction items.

Ideas & volunteerism to help us run the chapter. Plans are to postpone the election of officers to the January, 2016 meeting. Between now and then, please volunteer to attend one or more chapter organizational meeting(s) and to fill an open board or committee chair/member position, and help us write the chapter bylaws.

We need a treasurer. I have talked to two people about the possibility of being president. Nothing is set, so anyone wanting to throw their name in for that, please email HNPAT@TexasPrairie.org. Thanks to Linda Knowles for agreeing to be Vice President again and Silvia Gederberg for agreeing to be Secretary.  We also need a program chair and members of the programs committee, publicity chair and members of that committee, membership chair and members of that committee. Among other duties, the membership chair needs to make sure that one person from the committee will attend the meeting, bring a sign-in sheet, and get the signed sheet to Silvia to enter into our database and to publicity chair to enter into the mailchimp list.

HNPAT Finances:  Since beginning of 2015, HNPAT was no longer the only chapter of NPAT. The state organization now has five chapters, so each chapter needs to raise its own operating expenses and to donated to NPAT for use in maintaining prairies such as the Deer Park Prairie.

During the early years, when HNPAT was the only chapter, Pat Merkord, Executive Director, very generously budgeted money for our use. However, with now five chapters, each chapter will get 20% of the membership dues from its area. The Houston area is currently defined as Harris & 7 surrounding counties. Any NPAT member who does not live in the HNPAT designated area is welcome to join HNPAT, so part of its NPAT membership fee can be used by HNPAT. Just email us your wish and we will forward the information to the state.

The 20% membership will not even cover the cost of the meeting room rental at an extremely low rate of $45/3 hours for 11 months. This year, Linda Knowles has generously donated more than $2000 to HNPAT, so we were able to cover operating expenses. Based on the new chapter rules, each chapter is required to hold at least one fundraiser per year, which could be as simple as silent auction at our annual potluck or at a meeting. Of the funds raised, 70% will be retained by the chapter and 30% will go to the state.

Hope to see you at the holiday potluck full of enthusiastic energy to support our chapter!