9/2018 News: Fall Prairie Day; Fundraiser; Bird List

Scroll down for HNPAT’s September Fundraiser Appeal results

Four hardy souls who came to Fall Prairie Day in spite of the rain!

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This year’s Fall Prairie Day on September 29 was essentially cancelled due to weather. The official events such as lunch, insect tent, etc. were cancelled during mid-week due to predictions of inclement weather.  Some volunteers were still planning to continue with their activities such as Pat Merkord’s transects, Damien Carey’s bird survey, Glenn Merkord’s workday, NPSOTH field trip, and of course the indoor “Prairie Plants for Pollinators in Urban Gardens” talk at the La Porte Library.

For the Bird Survey, Damien Carey had sent the following list of birds observed during the past year: LDPP Bird list 082017-082018

However, on Saturday morning the weather radar and outside weather conditions were so dismal – rain and fog and fronts coming in – that almost all activities were cancelled. The Merkords called and said they were not coming in. Although, in accordance with NPSOTH tradition, Katy Emde and I (Lan Shen) showed up at the Memorial Park meeting place, we had no takers for the field trip.

Since I had to be in La Porte eventually for the talk, I drove from Memorial Park to Deer Park Prairie and arrived about 9:30 am and found Chuck Duplant ready to volunteer for the workday; he left, since that was cancelled.

Also there were four hardy souls eager for a tour! They had rain boots and rain gear. Since it was only lightly raining, we set out. Linda and Steven are experience foragers and wanted to know what prairie plants are edible. That stumped me beyond the common dewberry and  boneset, which is blooming now. Late flowering boneset (Eupatorium serotinum) was used by Native Americans and early settlers as an herbal medicine to relieve the symptoms of dengue fever, an illness that cause such severe muscle spasms that the bones felt like they were breaking.  According to Wikipedia, which I later looked up, the Eupatorium also contains some chemicals toxic to human liver, so should be used with caution.

Linda and Steven, however, were happy to collect seeds. Suzi took pictures and some seeds. Kelly Walker’s friend Tom was comparing plants of DPP with the ones in the natural area that he manages in Dallas. Unfortunately Kelly was feeling ill from allergies – understandably, since the first plants we encountered after stepping onto the prairie were ragweeds in bloom.

Since the ground was so wet, I took the opportunity to easily pull up volunteer swamp sunflowers in the demonstration garden and gave them to Linda and Steven, to high school student Tom at the La Porte Library talk, and to Barbara Willy on Sunday, when NPAT had the state board meeting at the prairie house at DPP. They all received an armful.

Come to Deer Park Prairie on Wednesday, October 10 to help spruce up the demonstration garden and take home the extra plants!

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Results of HNPAT’s September Fundraiser

Thanks to all who donated to HNPAT’s (Houston Chapter – Native Prairies Association of Texas) September Fundraiser! This fundraiser is in lieu of a silent auction fundraiser, which we have had at the past two Prairie Stampedes.

The monies raised will support us for 2019: for meeting facility, for speakers fees and travel expenses, for special events such as Prairie Days at Deer Park Prairie, moth night, and members’ event. Special thanks to Glenn Merkord and Frank Ohrt and others who reduce our meeting expenses by bring food to the meetings and to Mark and Drea Morgenstern who donate prairie plants for meeting attendees.

According to NPAT (our parent state organization) all chapters must have one fundraiser per year with 25% of the proceeds to be donated to NPAT to support its work throughout the state and its administration expenses. Since two years ago, all established chapters of NPAT must raise their own operating expenses; membership dues to NPAT are no longer shared with the chapters.

Our results: We raised $800 on the email campaign, $550 on Mary Waters’ Birthday Facebook fundraiser, plus another $500 from Mary  Waters’ company’s gift matching program, bringing the grand total to $1850. NPAT’s share will be $462.50; we will add $1,387.50 to our bank account for next year.

Although the official fundraiser is over, we take donations throughout the year! To donate to HNPAT (your Houston Chapter), go to this link, scroll down to the “Make a Donation” box, write in the amount, and then in the “Comment” box write “This donation is for the Houston Chapter – HNPAT“.  Or you may bring your donation check to the meeting and give it to either Hazel Potvin, our treasurer, or Mary Waters, our president. If writing a check, please write “For HNPAT” on the memo line.

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