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.

More December, 2015 Seed Collecting Trips

Sign up to be on the seed collecting email announcement list – email HNPAT​@TexasPrairie.org

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Seed Collecting
Friday, 12/11/15 @ Nash Prairie
Sunday, 12/13/15 @ Deer Park Prairie
Friday, 12/18/15 @ UH Coastal Center in La Marque
Seed Collecting at Nash Prairie, 10-12-15
Seed Collecting at Nash Prairie on 10/12/2015

Hi Seed Collectors,

Please join us for more seed collecting events this month (scroll down for details for each event).

  • Friday, December 11, 2015, 10:00 a.m. – noon or later at Nash Prairie just south of Brazos Bend State Park
  • ​Sunday, December 13, 2015, 1:00 pm to ~4:00 pm​ at Deer Park Prairie​ with Lan
  • Friday, December 18, 2015, 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. at UH Coastal Center with Jaime​ & Lan

Please RSVP with your cell phone number and indicate which event. You will be given date of event contact number.​ Late deciders are also welcome, but please know that we will not be able to contact you in case of cancellation.

Seed collecting is a leisurely way to enjoy the prairie and learn prairie plants. Walk with a companion in the prairie & run your hands up the appropriate seed head. Seeds that easily fall in your hand are ripe for collection. Or walk with a pair of scissors/pruners to cut off seeds with tough stems.

As always, wear closed-toe shoes and long pants. Bring clippers if you have them.  Also recommended are long-sleeved shirt, hat, water, insect repellent, sunscreen.

*** Specific Information Below for Each Event ***

Nash Prairie: Friday, December 11, 2015, 10 a.m. – noon or later.  From Susan Conaty, email sent 12/4/15:

SEED COLLECTING AGAIN ON THE NASH
Same Place Same Time

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Liatris acidota – 10/12/2015

Thank you everyone who came out today to help collect liatris [Liatris acidota] for The Nature Conservancy. Your time and effort are greatly appreciated. It was such a beautiful successful day that we are going to collect again next Friday December 11th at 10:00 A.M.

If you have an electric hedge trimmer please bring it if you can, it will make the work easier.  Otherwise, bring the usual for seed collecting, scissors, paper sacks, gloves.  If you don’t have any of the above I will bring some extra.

You are welcome to hand collect seed for yourself or other project, after we collect for TNC

Reminder:
No facilities on the Nash.
Bring water

Meet at Nash Prairie
24110 County Road 25
(Or 29.254653,-95.60277)
Park on Orozimbo Rd (Cty Rd 255)
Damon, TX 77430
Driving Directions

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Deer Park Prairie: Sunday, December 13, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.​
1222 E. Purdue Lane, Deer Park, TX 77536
Please bring a signed liability release: adult or adult+children .  Check out our newly completed viewing platform while you are there.


UH Coastal Center: ​Friday, December 18, 9:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Join Jaime & Lan for seed collecting at UH Coastal Center (usually not open to the public).
Meet in front of the gate in La Marque, TX, google map: https://goo.gl/maps/X3plH .  Please arrive on time, so we can go through the locked gate together.

Reminder: No facilities at UH Coastal Center.

See you on the prairie,

Lan

Come and help us collect prairie seeds, experience the prairie, help restoration efforts and also take some seeds home for your own garden.

Please send comments about your seed collecting trips to share with other prairie enthusiasts. Be sure to post photos of seed collecting trips at the CPP website: prairiepartner.org or send the photos to Lan Shen, HNPAT@TexasPrairie.org, and I will post them and credit the photos to you.

Information about this project, the individual teams, the seeds that we are collecting and when they would be ripe are online at http://prairiepartner.org/group/prairie-seed-council-of-texas.