Reminder: Invasive Species ID + Field Application (Sat, 6/24) & Butterfly ID Class (Fri, 6/29)

Just a few more spaces left for this Saturday’s (6/24) Invasive Species ID Class and Field Application (9:00 am – noon) to be taught at Deer Park Prairie (DPP) by Glenn Merkord, essentially DPP’s volunteer “Land Manager”. This workshop will be a great primer on invasive species of the coastal prairie and will provide hands-on demonstrations of how to control these noxious weeds. $15 class fee includes materials and lunch. Class rated for novices. Click here for more information and registration.

Come and see the wildflowers in bloom at Deer Park Prairie and how non-native invasives are being controlled to ensure continued abundance of our native prairie wildflowers.

        

More spaces are also open for next Friday’s Prairie Butterfly ID Class (6/29, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm) . Wally Ward, member of Butterfly Enthusiasts of Southeast Texas (B.E.S.T.), as well as Katy Prairie Conservancy Board Member and President of Native Plant Society of Texas – Houston will give an overview of local prairie butterflies and their identification at Trini Mendenhall Community Center in Spring Branch. Class rated for novices.  Click here for more information and registration.

Class participants are encouraged to practice their new knowledge and join Wally on a local butterfly field trip on July 8th, 10 a.m. – noon at Katy Prairie Conservancy’s Indian Grass Preserve. For more information and registration for the field trip, Click here.  Note: due to unexpected problems, previous offer for a field trip on July 1st has been cancelled.

ExxonMobil Team Grant @ Deer Park Prairie Workday 1-28-17

ExxonMobil Team (l-r) Bruce Senior (spouse), Lauren Blanton (retired), Lynne Hoefer (retired), Allen Potvin (retired), Hazel Potvin (spouse)

These five retired ExxonMobil employees and ExxonMobil spouses volunteered at least four hours each at the Lawther – Deer Park Prairie Preserve (DPP) on January 28, 2017 to earned a $500 ExxonMobil Team grant for HNPAT.  Hazel Potvin with HNPAT board’s approval will use the money to purchase much needed tools for DPP workdays.

That day, a total of fourteen volunteers continued removing branches and smaller diameter woody shrubs and tallows that had been cut recently by a professional crew and left on the prairie for us to clear away. The excessive woody plants and rains last year had prevented mowing / haying of the prairie. (See  previous blog for explanation). Also volunteering, in addition to the ExxonMobil team, were our workday leader Glenn Merkord and regular volunteers: Ian and Barbara Kress, major donors to DPP, Chuck Duplant, Charlie Lindquist on the mower, Frank Orht, Kelly Shield, and Lan Shen plus Becky Martinez, of Bayou Land Conservancy, and her two daughters. (Continued below the photos.)

The branches were moved to the NW corner of the property, where they form a nice brush pile for wildlife. As shown in the above photo, Chuck is in the process of turning our gazebo into a greenhouse around the growout table on long-term loan from Katy Prairie Conservancy.

At noon, we had chili and fixings for lunch provided by Hazel Potvin.  Thank you Hazel!

Earlier that day, Damien Carey and his wife Caroline did the monthly bird survey. When asked what less common birds they saw, Damien replied that they saw grasshopper and LeConte sparrows, other unidentified Ammodramuses, and woodcock (near tree motts). These birds are indicators of a healthy ecosystem.

Deer Park Prairie Workday Photos – 2-25-17

Thanks San Jacinto College Students and Student Engagement and Activities Specialists, Jill Johnson and Samantha De La Rosa!

A group of 10 from San Jacinto College, south and Central Campuses, joined 8 HNPAT volunteers on the prairie for the February 25, 2017 workday. The weather was perfect – sunny and mild.

The largest group worked with Glenn to cut the woody plants on the fenceline and then hauled the trimmings with Glenn’s trailer to the NW corner of the property. There a brush pile has been created for wildlife.

A smaller group cut back plants and thatch in the demonstration bed to about 8 inches tall, a task that needs to be done annually in lieu of fire or grazing. They also weeded. (Continued below the photos.)

Chuck and Kelly Shield were converting the gazebo into a greenhouse. Chuck had taken off the opaque composition roof during the last workday. They were now putting on clear plastic corrugated sheets for the roof. For the sides, they were using chicken wire to keep out the squirrels and other animals.

At noon, Hazel provided a wonderful hot dog and beans and potato salad lunch. Thank you Hazel.

Everyone had a great time!

By the way, ExxonMobil approved  Allen Potvin’s submission for a $500 ExxonMobil Team Grant that he, Hazel, Bruce Senior, Lynne Hoefer, and Lauren Blanton earned on the January 28th workday. The Potvins donated the money to HNPAT and Hazel, with the HNPAT board’s approval, used that money to buy needed tools for Deer Park Prairie. Thanks to all of you!

Insect List @ Deer Park Prairie by Chuck Duplant

The insect list for Deer Park Prairie compiled by Chuck Duplant is online now: 170228-l-dpp-insect-list-2_2017.

Check out Chuck’s wonderful photos of insects and wildflowers at Deer Park Prairie. Go to the album section of HNPAT’s Flickr photos (www.flickr.com/photos/hnpat/albums) and select the album “by Chuck Duplant”. Enjoy!chuckduplantflickralbum

 

 

Reminder: THIS Weekend is Bioblitz at Deer Park Prairie

Join us to catalog and view the flora and fauna of Deer Park Prairie!

Pat Merkord, Executive Director of NPAT, will be leading this event. See flyer on our home page HoustonPrairie.org for the entire weekend’s program on Saturday, 10/22 & Sunday, 10/23.

7/10/16: First NPAT Prairie Mapping Expedition in Harris County

To RSVP for this event: email Pat@Merkord.com or call 1-936-827-7973

NPAT's first prairie mapping expedition in Harris County. Participation in previous mapping classes/talks NOT a requirement.

NPAT’s first prairie mapping expedition in Harris County. Participation in previous mapping classes/talks NOT a requirement. Email Pat@Merkord.com or call 1-936-827-7973 to RSVP.

Insect Checklist by Chuck Duplant

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Rambur’s Forktail male; photo by Chuck Duplant, 6/27/15

New!

Just posted  –  an insect checklist by Chuck Duplant who wrote: “…Most of the insects are from what I have seen at the prairie and from photos from [Deer Park Prairie] Flicker site. My veting process is to ID them in guides and credited web sites such as OdonataCentral, BugGuide etc.

Some of the insects I have not been able to determine species due to several factors which is not uncommon…” 

Check out

Link to insect checklist: https://hnpat.files.wordpress.com/2014/09/l-dpp-insect-list-160611.pdf

Prairie Mapping Project Phase II Training Workshop!

APCNWR

Prairie fever

The first training workshop for Phase II of the Prairie Mapping Project is this Sunday!  Sign up today!

Sunday, March 6, 2016  10 AM – 3:00 PM
Deer Park Prairie
1222 East Purdue Lane
Deer Park Texas
Call or email Pat Merkord to RSVP and get information on parking which is limited
936-827-7973
Training Schedule:
April 13th at the Judson Robinson Community Center at 2020 Hermann Park Drive from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. covering locating landowners using appraisal district information and landowner contact, and the use of Google maps, soil service mapping, creating polygons and the use of iNaturalist. (Offered again on May 31st at Deer Park Prairie.)
May 11th at Deer Park Prairie from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. covering ID of forbs and grasses. (Will be offered again in June, date tba, at Nash Prairie.)
BRING HIKING SHOES, WEAR Clothes that cover arms and legs – bring lunch, sunscreen and bug repellent.

Help HNPAT plan 2016

2016HNPAT border

HNPAT email of 12/16/15 was sent and can be viewed at this link. Most of the information is also on our home page.

We are asking for your help in planning and organizing HNPAT FOR 2016. Please indicate in the doodle poll all times that you will be available to meet and plan. Possible locations are Luby’s at Waugh, Luby’s at S. MacGregor, or Cleburne’s Cafeteria.