2 for 1 Bargain ~7:01 AM, Tuesday, 11/28


Do what I will be doing around 7:01 AM, Tuesday morning, 11/28:
Taking advantage of a 2 for 1  & donating to Native Prairies Association of TX via Jason Spangler‘s #GivingTuesday fundraiser for NPAT (https://www.facebook.com/donate/1901471626771542/ ).

Do it early to to get the 2 for 1:
“Up to $2 million in donations to nonprofits will be matched by Facebook and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation starting on Nov 28 at 8 AM ET.” (7 AM CST). https://m.facebook.com/help/332488213787105

To get the match and donation fee waiver, you must do it at or after 7:00 AM CST tomorrow, 11/28 and before the $2M is reached. (After that, facebook charges a whopping 5+%)

If you only donate a few dollars (choose “other”), your donation will be doubled!

2017 Prairies & Pollinator Month Flyers & Agendas

Prairie Restoration Workshop Flyer & Agenda on Thursday, October 5 at Katy Prairie Conservancy Field Office – sign up now! Click picture below for printable form of flyer & agenda.


Join us for the many other Prairies & Pollinator Month activities listed at prairiepartner.org/prairiemonth/ or click this link for a 2-page printable list.


Later this month is Katy Prairie Conservancy’s Conservation Easement Workshop on Friday, October 20. Sign up now! Click picture below for printable form of flyer and agenda:


Not local, but a FREE Native Prairies of Texas event near San Antonio: Wildlife and Grasslands Restoration Workshop at the Kirchoff Family Farm Prairie Restoration area in Wilson County. Saturday, October 28. Sign up now!


Let’s Help NPAT Save The Paul Mathews Prairie!


NPAT has an exciting opportunity to conserve a vibrant prairie in North Texas. The Paul Mathews Prairie is a rare and pristine 100-acre remnant of the Blackland Prairie near Floyd, TX in Hunt County, not far from the well-known Clymer Meadow. For an incredible price of $50,000, NPAT can become the owner of this unique prairie! We believe this is the chance of a lifetime and one that we should not pass up. NPAT only has a limited time to raise the funds to buy this beautiful prairie. We hope you will help us purchase the prairie, cover the land transaction fees, and create an endowment fund for its stewardship & protection. Those of you familiar with the Deer Park Prairie, will know how expensive it is to maintain a prairie and defend it against pressures such as invasive plants, trees and shrubs, etc. without the traditional tools such as fire and bison. We need to raise $50,000 to cover the entire project.

Although the land is already under conservation easement with The Nature Conservancy (TNC), purchasing the property will ensure that NPAT with its vast prairie expertise will be able to manage the preservation of this extremely rare remnant of what was once a dominant habitat in North American and today is one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world.

Hey, Houston Prairie People: if we could do the Deer Park Prairie (~50 acres for ~$4 million), we should be able to do this easy! People from all over the world helped us save the Deer Park Prairie, let’s return the favor! Please donate and pass the word onto your friends & relatives in the DFW area.

Donate now online at this link or by mail (use this form) to Native Prairies Association of Texas, 415 N. Guadalupe St. PMB 385, San Marcos, TX 78666 (please write Mathews Prairie in the memo line of your check if you want to direct your donation specifically to the Mathews Prairie.)

History of the Mathews prairie:  Paul Mathews played in this prairie as a boy in the early 1900s and wanted to preserve it. He finally bought the land in 1969, put it under conservation easement with TNC in the 1980s, and managed it by haying until about 1996. He had received the Lone Star Land Steward award and died at age 101 in 2005. The current owner is Dr. Jim Conrad, a history professor in Commerce, who wants to sell the land and is happy to sell it to NPAT.

Former TNC manager Jim Eidson considers the Mathews Prairie as one of the best representatives of a gamagrass/switchgrass/indiangrass vertisolic (gumbo clay) prairie in Texas. It has very deep gilgai formations.

This prairie has some rare species as well, including a crawfish that was thought to be rare, but now is considered more common than originally thought. Other wildlife information about this prairie can be found at the links below:

Check out the information about the Paul Mathews Prairie at the NPAT website’s home page: TexasPrairie.org


Photo credits. Top: Jason Singhurst. Bottom: Kirsti Harms.


2nd Annual Texas Prairies Bus Tour (Dallas) 6/3/17

Native Prairies Association of Texas offers a bus tour  on Saturday, June 3, 2017, of prairies of central Texas starting from Dallas and touring prairies near Temple, Austin, and Crawford. Participants of last year’s tour had a great time.

Although it said registration deadline is May 10, I received a copy of the email this week. When I clicked the registration link, I got through. Best to contact  Leigh Ann Ellis, 214.321.7159, if you are interested.

2nd Annual Texas Prairies Tour

Blackland Chapter, Native Prairies Association of Texas
2nd Annual Texas Prairies Tour
Saturday, June 3, 2017

Bath House Cultural Center at White Rock Lake
521 E Lawther Dr. (access via Northcliff and N. Buckner)Click here to register for this event.
See itinerary below

Our Northeast Texas prairies tour was so fun last year, we’re doing it again, but this time we’re heading to Central Texas.

Enjoy short excursions in beautiful grasslands, most of which are not generally open to the public. A chance to stand in awe in a native prairie as it was before westward expansion. We’ll also learn about native prairie restoration and management. Become inspired on how to keep native prairies thriving for generations to come.

We’ll zip south to near Temple, which is halfway between Waco and Austin. After lunch in Salado, we’ll drive further south to near Taylor (west of Round Rock). Heading back north, we’ll go to Marlin (SE of Waco), where we’ll visit a series of small Blackland Prairies. Then we’ll travel west of Waco to tour an example of a Grand Prairie. Heading north to home, we’ll stop in West for dinner.


7:00am — Bus leaves from parking lot at Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E Lawther Dr, Dallas, TX 75218.

Prairie #1: Burleson Prairie, Oenaville (east of Temple, Texas):

  • Prairie Guide: Mickey Burleson, Owner of Burleson Prairie
Native prairie restored by Mickey and her late husband, Bob Burleson. They spent decades recording prairie data, restoring hundreds of acres of native prairie, and focusing on state wide conservation efforts.

Lunch in Salado with Dolly Kunz Wilson; included in tour fee.

Prairie #2: Granger Lake Prairie, Granger Lake Park, Taylor

  • Prairie Guide: Pat Merkord, Executive Director, NPAT
Pat will explain restoration procedures taken on this native tallgrass prairie site, planted in 1994 in a cooperative effort between NPAT, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Prairie #3: Riesel Prairie and Prairie #4: Lehmann Prairie, near Marlin

  • Prairie Guide: Pat Merkord, Executive Director, NPAT
These two small prairies are about 10 miles apart and are excellent examples of the native tallgrasses that were prevalent in Central Texas area prior to European settlement. The Lehmann Prairie is an 11-acre remnant prairie protected by a conservation easement. The Riesel Prairie is a 5-acre remnant prairie owned by NPAT.

Prairie #5: Simpson Prairie, near Crawford

  • Prairie Guides: Marliss and Mike Williams
Remnant of the Grand Prairie (Lampasas Cut Plains of the Cross Timbers and Prairies) on a gently sloping hillside. Mike remembered seeing some native prairie before the area became overgrazed, located and identified it, and restored it with his wife Marliss. Protected by NPAT conservation easement.

Dinner in West; on your own dime
•    Picha’s Czech-American Restaurant
•    Two Amigos Mexican Restaurant
•    West Station Roadhouse Restaurant

10:30pm — Bus returns parking lot at Bath House Cultural Center

  • In case of harsh weather for June 3, the tour will be rescheduled.
  • Wear loose hiking clothes and sturdy shoes for prairie walking. Bring a hat, bug repellant, and sunscreen. Road snacks/beverages and books/etc to pass the time while traveling, plus back-up power for your phone, are good ideas.

Deadline for payment is May 10:

  • Cost for NPAT Members — $75.00
  • Cost for non-NPAT Members — $85.00
  • Notes on the prairie stops and a map will be provided.

Click here to register for this event.Contact Pat Rinn, NPAT, with any questions about registration.

For Additional Information
Contact Leigh Ann Ellis, 214.321.7159

Lehmann Prairie photos above courtesy NPAT

Blackland NPAT
BNPAT website
NPAT website
NPAT Prairie Blog

Become a Member

Make sure you’re a paid member of Native Prairies of Texas so you can vote in upcoming elections — or maybe run for office.

Lehmann Prairie photo courtesy NPAT
Reisel Prairie photo courtesy NPAT
Simpson Prairie photo courtesy NPAT
Simpson Prairie photo courtesy NPAT
Our Prairie Defender FriendsBotanical Research Institute of Texas

Fort Worth chapter of Native Prairie Association of Texas

Great Plains Restoration Council

Nature Conservancy of Texas

Native Plant Society of Texas

North Texas Master Naturalists

Copyright © 2017 Blackland Native Prairies Association of Texas, All rights reserved.

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp

Prairies, Birds, & Pollinators Workshop 2/25/17

This NPAT (Native Prairies Association of Tx) & EIH (Environmental Institute of Houston) workshop at UH Clear Lake Environmental Institute of Houston offers a day of indoor and outdoor learning on creating better habitats for birds, butterflies, and monarchs. Register by email to Reistle@uhcl.edu .


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.

Four Burrowing Owls

NPAT President, Kirsti Harms, at Maddin Prairie (Mitchell County) – update Aug 16

Kirsti Harms visited NPAT’s Maddin Prairie in Mitchell County last weekend (August 6-7) and here is her report. Anyone wishing to visit Maddin Prairie and carpool with Kirsti from Austin or NPAT Executive Director, Pat Merkord, who lives in Conroe, please email info@TexasPrairie.org . They will let you know dates of future visits.

Anyone living Maddin Prairie and who would like to volunteer there, please also contact Kirsti or Pat at info@TexasPrairie.org. Alternative email is HNPAT@TexasPrairie.org .

Below is Kirsti’s update and photos of Maddin Prairie:
Date: Sun, Aug 7, 2016 at 8:33 PM

Subject: Maddin update Aug 16


I went to Maddin this weekend, but took my time getting there, since it is very hot out. I arrived Sat. evening around 8 p.m. and it was 94 degrees. It was in the upper 90s when I left around noon Sunday. (I did stay at a hotel in town.)

Since I was out there alone, my only goal was to fill the water troughs. Good thing I came out though. The big trough was completely dry. I’ve never seen that happen before. Hope it doesn’t have a leak. Our leopard frog didn’t make it. I fiddled with the darn irrigation pipes again—they keep coming apart. But managed to fill the storage tank which will drain into the water trough. Hope that takes care of things until next month. I’ll head out again in early September.

Things were pretty quiet overall. Did see lots of quail, scissortail flycatchers, meadowlarks and Cassins sparrows. About 10 common nighthawks were flying low in the morning. Saw 5 burrowing owls at the prairie dog town! See pics. They were not very shy and I got pretty close in my car. They actually scolded me when I got out of the car. I took some carrots to the prairie dogs since things are kind of crispy right now. They seem to be doing okay. Saw a horned lizard with a strange red head. I hope he was okay. Could he have been doing that blood squirting thing? He was moving kind of slowly but seemed okay otherwise.

We REALLY need to mow. The catclaw in the prairie dog town is getting high. I can hit that with the push mower. But the roads are now almost impassible. I didn’t go to the lower part of the preserve because I could barely find the road and was picking up all kinds of debris, not to mention dodging mesquite branches. The sawtooth daisy (grindelia papposa) is everywhere. I’m amazed I haven’t gotten a flat out here yet… Lots of prickly pear fruit this year.

My next official trip is scheduled for the weekend [at beginning of October]
. Let me know if you want to go out there. I understand that the road to the state park is open again…


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.

Prairie Mapping Project Phase II Training Workshop!


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
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.

Survey of Texas Prairies, Phase II

At the January 27th meeting, Pat Merkord, Executive Director of the Native Prairie Association, spoke to HNPAT members and guests about the launch of Phase II of a proposed survey of Texas prairies.  This survey will be more in-depth than the original survey, conducted from 2009 – 2011.  During this phase, teams will be trained on how to effectively conduct the survey, including landowner contact, plant ID and data collection; and the use of technology including Google maps and iNaturalist.  Training is scheduled to commence in March and will consist of two parts.  This survey will be a great opportunity for HNPAT members, as well as members of other local organizations.

For more information, please contact NPAT Houston

Prairie Survey Mapping Update – Phase II (4)-2