Jim Duron Honored with HNPAT’s 2019 Prairie Volunteer Award

Jim Duron upon completion of 20,000 Texas Master Naturalist hours

HNPAT (Houston Chapter – Native Prairies Association of Texas) will be presenting its 2019 Prairie Volunteer Award to Jim Duron, Texas Master Naturalists, Galveston Bay Area Chapter with over 20,000 volunteer hours, on Wednesday,

Prairie Friday volunteers ABNC, 2007

December 4, 2019 at the Prairie Stampede potluck (free, all welcome, please register). Please join us in celebrating this award and all 2019 coastal prairie accomplishments. Jim is a long-time prairie volunteer involved in multiple prairie restoration activities with multiple organizations:

  • Jim’s volunteerism started in 2007 with the Prairie Friday group at Armand Bayou Nature Center (ABNC) where from 2014 – present, he has led all aspects related to plant generation.
  • He was involved in restoration at Sheldon Lake State Park on Tuesday mornings, 2007 – 2010.
  • Harvesting Switchgrass Seeds from TCPP’s Seed Production Facility 1, 2013

    Jim led the Tuesday morning volunteer workdays at Texas City Prairie Preserve 2010 – July, 2019 and produced the plants that were planted in the prairie during this period.  After stepping down as the leader, he continues to work as a restoration volunteer at TCPP.

  • Jim has been involved with prairie restoration at San Jacinto Battleground since 2012. From 2014 – present he leads the plant production effort there as well as Thursday morning workdays.
  • In summary, from 2007 – present, Jim has volunteered for prairie workdays Tuesday and Friday mornings. Since 2012 he has been volunteering for prairie workdays Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings and has been in leadership roles most of the time.
  • In addition to the workdays, Jim has been involved in other aspects of plant generation. In Jim’s words “The generation of the plants that support the restoration effort is a very time consuming task.  The effort begins with the collecting, cleaning and storage of the seeds. Then the seeds are germinated in several greenhouses around the supported areas.  During [my] tenure as the plant propagation lead, [I] use greenhouses at the NASA Long Horn Project, at the College of the Mainland , at the Armand Bayou Nature Center and at the San Jacinto Battle Ground.  Since 2014, [I have] generated over 170,000 seedlings in support of the restoration activities at the different sites.  The seedlings are taken from the greenhouses to the restoration sites where they are placed in 1 gallon containers by the volunteer groups. They are then staged until they are ready to plant in the prairie.  [I organize] the potting, staging and watering effort to get the plants ready. For each planting event, [I identify] the individual plant types that will be taken into the field and planted.

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Jim chronicles his volunteer career in prairie restoration:

Jim began his restoration experience in April 2007.  Getting ready to retire from the rat race, he was looking for something to do with his time.  After a hint from his wife, he joined the Prairie Friday group at the Armand Bayou Nature Center (ABNC).  This group meets every Friday morning and is responsible for the generation of prairie grasses and forbs that will be planted  in the prairie. In 2014, the Prairie Friday lead stepped down and Jim took over all the aspects related to plant generation. This is a task that Jim continues to perform to this day.

In November of 2007, one of the rangers at Sheldon Lake State Park (SLSP) contacted Prairie Friday volunteers about starting a prairie restoration group at the SLSP.  With the ABNC restoration lead, the new restoration group started generating plants. Jim continued to support the restoration effort at SLSP, until October of 2010.  

In October of 2010, Jim was approached by the lead of the restoration efforts at the Texas City Prairie Preserve (TCPP).  She needed to step down from the leadership role. Accepting the invitation, Jim took over the restoration lead at the TCPP.  Meeting every Tuesday morning, Jim led the effort to generate the grasses and forbs that were planted in the prairie. This is a position that he held until July of 2019 when he stepped down as the lead.  Jim continues to work as a restoration volunteer at the center.

In April of 2012, Prairie Friday volunteers were again approached by a ranger from one of the other state parks about starting a restoration effort. With a very small group of volunteers, the restoration activities at the San Jacinto Battle Ground (SJBG) began.  Meeting every Thursday morning, the group began the process of generating grasses and forbs that were planted in the prairie. In 2014, Jim took over the plant generation portion of the restoration effort. This is a position that he holds to this day

The generation of the plants that supports the restoration effort is a very time consuming task.  The effort begins with the collecting, cleaning and storage of the seeds. Then the seeds are germinated in several greenhouses around the supported areas.  During Jim’s tenure as the plant propagation lead, he uses greenhouses at the NASA Long Horn Project, at the College of the Mainland , at the Armand Bayou Nature Center and at the San Jacinto Battle Ground.  Since 2014, Jim has generated over 170,000 seedlings in support of the restoration activities at the different sites. The seedlings are taken from the greenhouses to the restoration sites where they are placed in 1 gallon containers by the volunteer groups. They are then staged until they are ready to plant in the prairie.  Jim organizes the potting, staging and watering effort to get the plants ready. For each planting event, he defines the individual plant types that will be taken into the field and planted.

In 2008 Jim became a member of the Galveston Bay Area Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists.  He served as the membership lead for 9 years before stepping down at the end of 2018. He still supports many of the chapter activities especially in the area of prairie restoration.  During his service with the chapter he has accumulated over 20,000 volunteer service hours.

 

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