Photos of CNC at Deer Park Prairie

City Nature Challenge (CNC) ended over a month ago. However, for completeness, we are blogging the result (scroll to the bottom) and showing some photos of CNC at Deer Park Prairie on our Spring Prairie Day. If you think the activities look interesting, SAVE THE DATE and join us on our Fall Prairie Day, September 28, 2018. More information on exact times for the Fall Prairie Days are forthcoming.

Visitors first met Mary Waters, President of HNPAT, at the registration table. Then they had opportunities to join iNaturalist instructions session by Kelly Reierson, a plant walk led by Jane Reierson aided by Wally Ward, and an insect segment by Chuck Duplant, who captured the insect by sweep netting and then put them in the Petri dish for better viewing and identification. Hazel Potvin and Silvia Gederberg provided the food. Thanks to all who helped make this an enjoyable day.

The City Nature Challenge results were summarized by Sarah Flournoy of Houston Audubon who wrote: “Nature Challenge 2018 has drawn to a close, and Houston definitely brought it! Houston came in first for species identified in Texas and in SECOND for the WORLD for number of identified species (barely behind San Francisco Bay, the host of CNC). A special thanks to everyone that participated in observing and IDing our 22,000 observations. It is clear that Houston is home to a dedicated and talented group of naturalists!

More information at

The second link shows that for greater Houston, 3 of the top 6 observers are HNPAT members!

Events Prairies: March & April

Sundew, Deer Park Prairie by D. Verser, 2/29/2012

Spring has sprung in Houston and it’s time to go out in nature. In greater Houston, that means many events on the prairie are here and upcoming. See summary below and scroll down for details:

  • Tonight (3/8/18): Benigno & Newman of Harris County Flood Control talk on “A Tale of Two Prairies” at Sierra Club meeting
  • Check out all upcoming Urban Prairie events:
  • Saturday, March 17: Bellaire Garden Club plant sale at Nature Discovery Center (7112 Newcastle, Bellaire) has an assortment of native prairie plants. Click here for more information.

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Tonight from Sierra Club email:

March 8, 2018 – A Tale of Two Prairies

At [Houston Sierra Club’s] March 8, 2018 meeting, we will have a presentation of “A Tale of Two Prairies”, the green version of the Charles Dickens classic. (“It was the best of prairies… etc.”) This is a program for prairie lovers and habitat restoration fans. [The] guest speakers will be Stephen Benigno and Andrew Newman of the Harris County Flood Control District (HCFCD), who will update us on their prairie restoration projects.
The event is free and open to the public at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 1805 West Alabama, Houston. Main program starts 7:30 PM. Doors open 7:00 PM.

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March & Upcoming UP (Urban Prairie) Team Events

As always, keep checking the UP Team calendar (tinyurl.com/UPTeamCal). Events emails are only sent out once per month, but the calendar is kept updated as information comes in. Click on the event and then the “more details” to show all details, including meeting place and parking specifics. Each event has at least one contact person.
If you are planning to attend an event , please RSVP to the contact person shown on the calendar so that person could let you know of any changes.   
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March, 2018

For more information, go to tinyurl.com/UPTeamCal
  • Saturday, March 3 (1st Saturdays): Hermann Park, http://tinyurl.com/UPTeamCalBayou Savannah Workday (near 6520 Almeda)
  • Monday, March 5 (1st Mondays): Nature Discovery Center. NO WORKDAY.
  • New!  Wednesday, March 7 (weekly on Wednesdays): HANC/MPC Greenhouse Volunteer Workday for the Houston Arboretum & Nature Center (HANC) and  Memorial Park Conservancy (MPC) joint project to grow prairie plants for savannah restorations at HANC. Project Leader Allen Brymer is also there Thursday and Monday mornings. Anyone who wants to volunteer on these days need to first contact Allen at abrymer@katyprairie.org . 9am – noon
  • Thursday, March 8 (2nd & 4th Thursdays): Native (and mostly prairie) plant propagation at City of Houston Greenhouse in Memorial Park, 9:00am – noon
  • Saturday, March 10 (2nd Saturdays): Hermann Park, Whistlestop Prairie Workday (near entrance to Japanese Garden), 9:00am – noon
  • Wednesday, March 14 (2nd Wednesdays): Deer Park Prairie Workday, 9:00a – noon. Last month’s workdays were cancelled, so help is needed to clean up and cut back the demonstration garden. Free Plants:  Extra plants that we pull out are free to take home. Lots of frogfruit and swamp sunflower among others.
  • Wednesday, March 14 (weekly on Wednesdays): HANC/MPC Greenhouse Volunteer Workday, 9am – noon.
  • NEW! Friday, March 16 (3rd Fridays): 9am – noon. Memorial Park Conservancy, Conservation Crew, Kayak/Canoe Access (Woodway, immediately west of 610), invasive control and working on a recently planted restoration project. 9 am – noon. Contact volunteer@memorialparkconservancy.org for more information, since location differs each month.
  • Wednesday, March 21 (weekly on Wednesdays): HANC/MPC Greenhouse Volunteer Workday, 9am – noon.
  • Thursday, March 22 (2nd & 4th Thursdays): Native (and mostly prairie) plant propagation at City of Houston Greenhouse at Memorial Park, 9:00am – noon
  • Saturday, March 24 (4th Saturdays): Deer Park Prairie Workday. 9:00am -noon. Come and see the early spring wildflowers!  Especially NEEDED: Exxon Mobile employees, retirees, and/or immediately family members to form a team and earn a $500 donation from Exxon Mobile. The effort is led by retiree Allen Potvin and his wife Hazel, board member of Houston Chapter, Native Prairies Association of Texas. For more information or to RSVP: HNPAT@TexasPrairie.org
  • Saturday, March 24 (4th Saturdays): Hermann Park, Bayou Savannah Workday (near 6520 Almeda), 9:00am -noon
  • Wednesday, March 28 (weekly on Wednesdays): HANC/MPC Greenhouse Volunteer Workday, 9am – noon.

Upcoming in April

For more information & RSVP contact, go to tinyurl.com/UPTeamCal
  • Monday, April 2 (1st Mondays): Nature Discovery Center. Monday Morning Gardening, 9:30 am noon.
  • Wednesday, April 4 (weekly on Wednesdays): HANC/MPC Greenhouse Volunteer Workday, 9am – noon.
  • Saturday, April 7 (1st Saturdays): Hermann Park, Bayou Savannah Workday (near 6520 Almeda)
  • Wednesday, April 11 (2nd Wednesdays): Deer Park Prairie Workday, 9:00am – noon
  • Wednesday, April 11 (weekly on Wednesdays): HANC/MPC Greenhouse Volunteer Workday, 9am – noon.
  • Thursday, April 12 (2nd & 4th Thursdays): Native (and mostly prairie) plant propagation at City of Houston Greenhouse in Memorial Park, 9:00am – noon
  • Saturday, April 14 (2nd Saturdays): Hermann Park, Whistlestop Prairie Workday (near entrance to Japanese Garden), 9:00am – noon
  • Wednesday, April 18 (weekly on Wednesdays): HANC/MPC Greenhouse Volunteer Workday, 9am – noon.
  • Friday, April 20 (3rd Fridays): Memorial Park Conservancy, Conservation Crew, Kayak/Canoe Access (Woodway, immediately west of 610), invasive control and working on a recently planted restoration project. 9am – noon.Contact volunteer@memorialparkconservancy.org for more information, since location differs each month.
  • Wednesday, April 25 (weekly on Wednesdays): HANC/MPC Greenhouse Volunteer Workday, 9am – noon
  • Thursday, April 26 (4th Thursdays): Native (and mostly prairie) plant propagation at City of Houston Greenhouse at Memorial Park, 9:00am – noon
  • Saturday, April 28 (4th Saturdays): Deer Park Prairie Workday, 9:00am -noon.**Also Deer Park Prairie Spring Prairie Day & City Nature Challenge!** Program specifics upcoming at Houstonprairie.org or email HNPAT@TexasPrairie.org for more information. Join HNPAT’s Spring Prairie Day and take lots of photos to post on iNATURALIST, since this is during the City Nature Challenge. Come and see the early spring wildflowers! Organized events of the City Nature Challenge can be found at houstonprairie.org/CNCactivities/
  • Saturday, April 28 (4th Saturdays): Hermann Park, Bayou Savannah Workday (near 6520 Almeda), 9:00am -noon
General workday attire/needs: long pants and closed toe shoes. Optional: hat, sunscreen, long-sleeved shirt, insect repellent, water. If you have them bring some garden tools like garden gloves, trowel and/or shovel.

Want to volunteer in your own home? Join the Great Grow Out Program. Katy Prairie Conservancy is seeking volunteers to grow (in the comfort of their own home) plants from wild collected seeds that we will send you. Then return the seedlings to KPC for restoration projects! Don’t forget to keep a few for your garden!

Instructions in the form of a Grower’s Handbook or in the form of videos are at www.katyprairie.org/ggo. For more information, view the webpage or contact Lshen@katyprairie.org

If you want to get this monthly email and are not an UP (Urban Prairie) Team member, please join our team of volunteers interested in helping at urban pocket prairies and/or to communicate about prairies. See UP Team information and a flyer at this link. Click the button below to get monthly emails on Urban Prairies activities that need your help!

 

See you all on the prairie!

 

Houston, We Have Species!

We Won!
Greater Houston WON Most Species Found
During City Nature Challenge, April 14-18

This post is a bit late. Most of you probably already know that Greater Houston recorded the most number of species in the entire USA during the City Nature Challenge!  Previously not posted: a summary of the entire City Nature Challenge is at http://www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2017  where there is a link to a quick 5 question survey. Please take that and let the organizers know your experience.

Interesting that the most observed species in all the cities is #1 mallard and #2 honey bee. Furthermore, Houston’s own Andy Newman is second of all the participants in the number of species he posted. Yay Andy!

A summary of Houston’s results: Thanks to all the 417 people in greater Houston who posted to iNaturalist during the City Nature Challenge 2017, the answer to the Challenge’s question “Which City Can Find the Most Nature?” is Greater Houston! We not only won in Texas, we won in the entire country with an official tally of 2419 species posted – just 18 more than Austin, with which we were neck and neck on the last day! Dallas won the most observations posted and Los Angelos won most number of people posting. We won the MOST IMPORTANT CATEGORY and were in the top five in the other two categories.

The person in greater Houston who posted the most observations is NPSOT-H’s Kelly Walker. Second is Andy Newman of Harris County Flood Control. The two in greater Houston who posted the most number of species are first Andy Newman and second, Jed Aplaca of Natural Resources Manager of Houston Park and Recreation Department.

Most of us already knew that greater Houston is incredibly diverse with our coastal prairie, seashore, coastal marches and wetlands, piney woods and forests, and riparian habitats. Now the entire nation knows, thanks to all those who participated in this year’s challenge. Please sharpen your skills for next year, when the City Nature Challenge goes international! Tip for next year: Jaime Gonzalez noted that no one took the Bolivar Ferry this year and posted dolphin as a species!