Deer Park Prairie open for City Nature Challenge 2021 on May 1, 10am – 2pm

It’s April – City Nature Challenge Month!

CNC is a worldwide contest: everyone can participate and help Greater Houston win!

Don’t know what this is? Join the Houston – Native Plant Society of Texas (H-NPSOT) on Thursday, April 15, 2021, at 7 p.m. to learn from TWPD biologist Craig Hensley on how to use iNaturalist and participate (for newbies) and how your data is used (for past participants). Register for the Zoom meeting where you can ask questions via chat or view the talk on Youtube Live.

Also view previous blog to learn more about the Houston-Galveston area CNC -from Jaime Gonzalez, one of the CNC coordinators for this area.

The over 50 acres of Deer Park Prairie will be open to CNC participants to take photos.

  • Date & Time: Saturday, May 1, 2021 between 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.
  • Location: 1222 East Purdue Lane, Deer Park, TX 77536
  • Visitors must bring a signed copy of the liability release and sign in at the back porch.
  • Please add your photos to the Deer Park Prairie project on iNaturalist (
  • Normal visitation rules:
    • Minors must be accompanied by an adult
    • No firearms, motor vehicles, alcohol, or smoking on the prairie
    • No loud music or noise – it disturbs the wildlife
    • Leave only footsteps and take only photos: please take out your trash and do not pick flowers, seeds, plants.
  • The house will NOT be open – there will be no bathroom facilities
  • Please abide by Covid-19 guidelines:
    • Facemasks are mandatory in the front, side, and backyard of the house. Facemasks are mandatory when around others not in your household
    • Practice social distancing: Stay at least 6 feet away from others not in your household. With over 50 acres, there should be sufficient space on the prairie for social distancing.
    • Groups of more than 10 are not allowed.

In Memory of Charlie Lundquist – Deer Park Prairie Volunteer

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We are extremely sad to announce that HNPAT (Houston – Native Prairies Association of Texas) member and devoted Lawther – Deer Park Prairie (DPP) volunteer Charlie Lundquist of Friendswood passed away on Saturday, May 16, 2020. Charlie had been volunteering at Deer Park Prairie since 2014, the year when NPAT acquired the Prairie.  The funeral service will be accessible via Zoom at 4:00 pm on Saturday, May 23, 2020. Email for more information.

Charlie’s sister, Katie Sallean, contacted NPAT to let us know that she wants to set up a memorial in his name at DPP, because he loved it so much.  We thought a project to build the Charles Lundquist Memorial Boardwalk into the prairie would allow people of all ages and physical abilities access to the prairie including to the wetland areas. That would be one of the best ways to experience the prairie and we think that would have made Charlie very happy.

To honor Charlie’s memory, the family requested donations toward this boardwalk project.  Also, read more about Charlie’s “passion in…observing the natural world and striving to understand the complexities that come with its beauty.” at the NPAT blog:

On a personal note, I met Charlie in the summer of 2014 when his sister Katie brought him to a Memorial Park Prairie walk prior to a Native Plant Society of Texas – Houston Chapter (NPSOT-H) monthly meeting. When we talked about NPAT’s newly acquired Deer Park Prairie, Charlie said that he lived not too far from Deer Park.  Shortly thereafter, he started coming to DPP to volunteer. As Katie said, “[Charlie] felt it was a great misfortune that, through our modern-day actions, the unique and exceptional flora and fauna that have evolved over eons are being wiped out. This feeling spurred Charlie to action and Lawther – Deer Park Prairie became that outlet.”

To maintain DPP, there are routine tasks that need to be done and our regular volunteers often take them on. For Charlie, one of those tasks was mowing the fenceline. In addition to whatever special task of the workday, Charlie was often on the mower creating a firebreak, a walking/driving path along the west side between the prairie and our neighbors’ backyard fences.‘ backyard fences.
We missed Charlie, this past winter, while he was ill. We will miss him on future workdays.
Lan Shen
HNPAT Volunteer at Deer Park Prairie


2020 Party for the Prairie: Photos and Report

From the HNPAT March Newsletter (subscribe to the monthly newsletter at ):

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Native Prairie Association of Texas’ (NPAT’s) first Party for the Prairie, a luncheon on March 7, 2020 at Safari Texas Ranch to raise funds to sustain the Lawther – Deer Park Prairie Education Program, was a Texas-size success! We raised over $26,000 to sustain this highly successful program. This invaluable program has for the past two years connected people of all ages to their natural and cultural heritage and provided prairie lessons through programs at schools, field trips to the Lawther – Deer Park Prairie Preserve, teacher workshops, aiding pocket prairies installations, and a girls camp this summer.

Thank you very much to all Party for the Prairie sponsors, attendees, and donors!

People who were not there missed a fun party! (Scroll down for the program.) During the initial social hour, our supporters were treated with mimosas and delicious hors d’oeuvres, while they had fun (re-)connecting with prairie experts and each other, competing for silent auction items, buying prairie related books, and visiting with authors Joe and Ann Liggio (Wild Orchids of Texas) and Jason Singhurst (Rare Plants of Texas) who brought their books for signing and purchase. Silent auction items included art, photography, books, Astros tickets and even a special chandelier!

After a welcome by Della Barbato, NPAT Director of Education, lunch was served. During lunch, Jaime Gonzalez talked about the Deer Park Prairie Story, Della about Deer Park Prairie Education, and there was a tribute slideshow by Lisa Spangler about our honorees – Susan and Peter Conaty on saving the Nash Prairie.

Then came the lively auction of special prairie tours around the state followed by the paddle raise to donate to specific causes. Honoree Susan Conaty then shared her delightful stories about the preservation of Nash Prairie. Cassidy Johnson ended the program with three prairie trivia questions. Can you answer these?

  1. In which plant family is rattlesnake master?
  2. Which species of bunch grass was mentioned during a State of the Union address?
  3. Extracts of this native forb have mild, antibiotic properties.

Some photos taken by Bob Romero and selected by Kirsti Harms are at

A fun time was had by all. If you missed it this year, we will be hosting this Party for the Prairie next year. Look for it and join us!

The Program:

Party for the Prairie to Benefit Deer Park Prairie Education Program


You are cordially invited
to join us in honoring
the conservation work of

Susan and Peter Conaty at

Party for the Prairie!

Saturday March 7, 2020
from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

at the Safari Texas Ranch,
Palm Pavilion

11627 FM 1464, Richmond, TX 77407

Attire: Texas Festive

There will be a silent and a live auction, an opportunity to test your prairie knowledge, and time to visit with your prairie friends. Learn more about the Lawther-Deer Park Education ProgramAll proceeds will go toward this education program benefitting the young AND the not-so-young.

KPC’s Seed Collection Season Starts

Katy Prairie Conservancy’s Prairie Seed Collection Season for 2019 starts this month with two seed collecting trips:

  • Wednesday, July 10, to Deer Park Prairie
  • Friday, July 12 to Katy Prairie Conservancy’s Indiangrass Preserve

For more information and to register, see  2019 Seed collecting  information sheet.

To be notified of future seed collecting trips, please email and ask to be placed on KPC’s seed collecting email list.





MOTH NIGHT at Deer Park Prairie!

For a copy of the flyer in pdf click here.

Join the Houston Chapter – Native Prairies Association of Texas (HNPAT)

For Our Annual Moth Night 

Saturday, July 20, 2019
at Deer Park Prairie
1222 E. Purdue Lane, Deer Park 77536

(Please do not park directly in front of our neighbors’ houses)
Register at

8:30 p.m. Doors open – visitors are encouraged to walk and view the prairie in the relative coolness and breeze around sunset
~ 9:00 p.m. or after dark: Moth and night insect viewing begins
Visitors are welcome to drop by and leave at any time.  Cost: Free


Moth and insect enthusiasts Katy Emde and John Schneider will set up black (UV) lights and white screen to attract moths and other night insects.  We had some Harris County firsts last year and a lot of fun! Once it gets dark, we’ll see what shows up!  We’ll be ID’ing, photographing and talking moths and other night insects such as the silver butt beetle. Light refreshments will be served in the house – please register, so we can get an estimate for food.

For more information, contact

5th Anniversary + City Nature Challenge at Deer Park Prairie!

Lawther – Deer Park Prairie Preserve
Celebrating the 5-Year Anniversary
of the purchase and conservation easement
that saved this 52-acre incredible prairie remnant

April 27 – Saturday

1222 E Purdue Lane, Deer Park, TX 77536
(Please do not park directly in front of our neighbors’ houses)

Join the Houston Chapter of the Native Prairies Association of Texas for Talks and Tours at the prairie. Wear closed-toe shoes and bring your camera! This is a City Nature Challenge event
( and previous blog)

7:30 Birding Tour (Prairie open only for bird tour participants)
9:00 Prairie Opens
9:15 iNaturalist Review
9:30 Prairie Plants Talk & Tour
10:30 Insects & Pollinators Talk & Tour
11:30 – 12:30 Complementary Lunch
9:00 AM – 2:00 PM Prairie Open for Visitors

Please register at, especially if you are planning to lunch with us. (Or register at ). If convenient, please bring a printed and signed field trip waiver.

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!


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!


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.

Fall 2018 KPC Seed Collecting Schedule

The Katy Prairie Conservancy has organized several seed collecting trips this fall, some to prairies not usually open to the public. All are welcome to participate. Take a look and sign up!

Seed collecting is a leisurely way to enjoy the prairie and learn about prairie grasses. Join friends and family for outdoor fun while gathering seeds ripe for collecting. No experience necessary as we work to support numerous organizations in the region. Make an impact and visit prairies often not open to the public.

Fall 2018 Seed Collecting Schedule

Hi Seed Collectors, 
Fall is the major seed collecting season for our coastal tallgrass prairie. Trips have been scheduled to collect at some of the best local prairies, so join us to enjoy a morning outdoors with fellow conservationists, learn from prairie experts, and help prairie habitats with your volunteerism.
KPC and Gulf Coast Master Naturalist volunteers, led by Theo Ostler, collect seeds at Houston Arboretum (HANC) on August 29, 2018. Emily Manderson, Conservation Director at HANC, dropped by to say hello and said that she was glad the seeds could be used for important restoration projects. Thanks to the volunteers who took seeds home to dry!
You may sign up starting now for any of these trips. Reminders will be sent to registrants the week of the event. We may also schedule some impromptu trips, such as one to the Houston Arboretum, when the purple top grass is ready to collect. To be put on the KPC seed collecting email list, send an email to
Monday, October 8th (Columbus Day) at UH Coastal Center in LaMarque
  • Time: 9:00 a.m. – noon
  • Map of meeting location.
  • Please arrive promptly at 9:00 a.m. to enter the locked gate together.
  • If you register, you will be given an event day cell phone number that you can call, should you arrive late.
  • This is a great opportunity to see the UH Coastal Center, normally not open to the public. The Center contains about 300 acres of tallgrass prairie and is one of the earliest high-quality prairies that has been protected and you can view photos in this photo gallery.
Wednesday, October 10th at Deer Park Prairie
  • Time: 9:00 a.m. – noon
  • Meet at 1222 E. Purdue Lane, Deer Park, Texas 77536  (Google map).
  • Please do not park directly in front of neighbors’ houses.
  • Please do bring a signed liability release (NPAT) if you do not have one on file from the past year.
  • Carpool: Reply to this email for carpooling opportunity from the Kroger parking lot at S. Post Oak & W. Bellfort or from a residential area adjacent to S. Main & Buffalo Speedway.
  • The prairie is usually lovely at this time of year, as the gulf muhly should be in bloom, creating a purple pink mist broken by intensely colored blue sage and the bright yellows of the swamp sunflower and silkgrass.
Tuesday, October 16th at Nash Prairie
  • Time: 9:00 a.m. – noon
  • Meet at Nash Prairie. Park on County Rd 255 (Orozimbo Rd.) and walk across the street to the prairie. We will meet at the start of the gravel road – the red marker on this map.
  • Carpool: Reply to this email for carpooling opportunity from the Kroger parking lot at S. Post Oak & W. Bellfort at 7:45 a.m.
Wednesday, November 14th at Deer Park Prairie
  • Time: 9:00 a.m. – noon
  • Meet at 1222 E. Purdue Lane, Deer Park, Texas 77536 (Google map).
  • Please do not park directly in front of neighbors’ houses.
  • Please do bring a signed NPAT liability release if you do not have one on file from the past year.
  • Carpool: Reply to this email for carpooling opportunity from the Kroger parking lot at S. Post Oak & W. Bellfort or from a residential area adjacent to S. Main & Buffalo Speedway.
Saturday, November 17th at Nash Prairie
  • Join us for a weekend seed collecting opportunity.
  • Time: 9:00 a.m. – noon
  • Meet at Nash Prairie. Park on County Rd 255 (Orozimbo Rd.) and walk across the street to the prairie. We will meet at the start of the gravel road – the red marker on this map.
  • Carpool: Reply to this email for carpooling opportunity from the Kroger parking lot at S. Post Oak & W. Bellfort at 7:45 a.m.
Wednesday, December 12th at Deer Park Prairie
  • Time: 9:00 a.m. – noon
  • Meet at 1222 E. Purdue Lane, Deer Park, Texas 77035 (Google map)
  • Please do not park directly in front of neighbors’ houses.
  • Please do bring a signed NPAT liability release.
  • Carpool: Reply to this email for carpooling opportunity from the Kroger parking lot at S. Post Oak & W. Bellfort or from a residential area adjacent to S. Main & Buffalo Speedway.
General Instructions:  
  • Everyone is welcome!
  • At KPC and Deer Park Prairie, you may collect for KPC, for any other non-profit organization, or for your own personal use.
  • If you have them, please bring pruners or scissors, a bucket or a reusable grocery bag, and a pen. Supplies are available if needed.
  • Please wear closed-toe shoes and long pants. We recommend you bring hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, a long-sleeved shirt, and a camera.
  • Water and light snack are usually available.