Rolling announcements for the September 22, 2021 meeting is at https://tinyurl.com/21SepHNPATmtg
Here are the rolling announcements for August 25, 2021 HNPAT meeting: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1F4cFP9SxopkqDnSDtsLSMlJqw2DBXtymfpG3bNzlP2M/edit?usp=sharing
Go to the home page HoustonPrairie.org to get ZOOM registration link.
From Lauren Simpson, creator of St. Julian’s Crossing Wildlife Habitat for HNPAT(July 28, 2021)
- Native-plant locators and information
- When you want to find plants that are native to your area:
- Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) regional plant lists: https://npsot.org/wp/resources/plant- lists-by-ecoregion/
- NPSOT-Houston native plant information: http://npsot.org/wp/houston/native-plant-info/
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s Native Plant Database: https://www.wildflower.org/plants/
- Native-plant locator by Zip Code (NWF): https://www.nwf.org/NativePlantFinder/Plants (also: https://www.nwf.org/Garden-for-Wildlife/About/Native-Plants)
- Pollinator Partnership eco-region planting guides: https://pollinator.org/guides
- Audubon Society native-plant database: https://www.audubon.org/native-plants
- “Nine Natives” guides (greater Houston area): https://www.katyprairie.org/9-natives
- Native Plant Lists for Wasps (Heather Holm): https://www.pollinatorsnativeplants.com/plant- lists–posters.html (free for educational use)
- When you want to check whether a specific plant is native to your area:
- When you want to find plants that are native to your area:
·Texas eco-region information
- Texas Parks and Wildlife (TPWD) maps: https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwdpubs/pwd_pl_w7000_1187a/pages/maps.phtml
- TPWD information on eco-regions: https://tpwd.texas.gov/education/hunter-education/online- course/wildlife-conservation/texas-ecoregions
·Why native plants matter
- Why native-plant butterfly and bird gardens are better (Jaime González, for the Katy Prairie Conservancy): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Puh_g_dMCH8
- Why native flowers are better for bees than non-natives: http://beautifulnativeplants.blogspot.com/2016/07/pollinators-and-native-vs-non-native.html
- Why locally-sourced and -grown native plants matter: http://www.ecobeneficial.com/2015/07/why- locally-sourced-locally-grown-native-plants-matter/
- Native v. cultivar: https://www.nwf.org/Magazines/National-Wildlife/2016/JuneJuly/Gardening/Cultivars
- Native v. non-native milkweed (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1722870314633869&id=1609337762653792
- “Weeding Out 4 Native Plant Myths”: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/51248852/list/4-Native- Plant-Myths
·Prairie-conservation organizations (with resources)
- Native Prairies Association of Texas (also 5 chapters): https://texasprairie.org/
- Katy Prairie Conservancy: https://www.katyprairie.org/
- Coastal Prairie Partnership (Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/saveprairies/
·Tip 1: “Mix it up.”
- Tips on plant variety to support pollinators: http://web.archive.org/web/20140701234902/http://nativeplantwildlifegarden.com/pollinators-and- flowers/
- Layering plants: http://rockies.audubon.org/news/five-wildscape-principles
·Tip 2: “Embrace imperfection.”
- Why to leave leaf litter in fall garden beds: https://www.nwf.org/en/Magazines/National- Wildlife/2015/OctNov/Gardening/Leave-the-Leaves and http://content.yardmap.org/learn/wildlife- value-of-a-messy-garden/
- Leaving fall gardens be: https://savvygardening.com/6-reasons-not-to-clean-up-your-garden-this-fall/
- Leaving pithy stems in place for bee nesting: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/39422662/list/Small-Carpenter-Bees—Looking-for-a-Home-in-Your-Plant-Stems
- Leaf mold, mulch, and compost: https://www.planetnatural.com/leaf-mold/
- How to prep. garden safely for spring: https://savvygardening.com/spring-garden-clean-done-right/
·Tip 3: “Stock the Nursery.”
- Bare earth and garden care for native-bee nesting: http://content.yardmap.org/learn/bare-earth-for- native-pollinators/ and http://www.xerces.org/in-your-pollinator-garden-november-2015/
- Building and responsibly maintaining bee hotels for native bees: http://www.foxleas.com/make-a- bee-hotel.asp; https://www.mountaineers.org/blog/mason-bees-raising-beneficial-pollinators; http://ncagr.gov/spcap/bee/documents/BuildingWildBeeHouses.pdf. But see http://www.conservationmagazine.org/2015/03/bee-hotels-have-unwanted-guests/.
- Designing a garden for native bees: http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/32351570/list/How-to-Design-a-Garden-for-Native-Bees
- Host plants by butterfly species: http://www.dallasbutterflies.com/Butterfly%20Gardening/Host%20Plants%20by%20Butterfly%20S pecies.htm and https://npsot.org/wp/houston/files/2014/08/February-2017-NPSOT_HOUSTON- information-pages.pdf
·Wildlife-habitat gardening generally
- Planting guides by ecoregion (Pollinator Partnership): http://www.pollinator.org/guides
- Simple tips on creating a pollinator-friendly garden: https://pollinatorgardens.org/2016/01/12/design- ideas-for-gardeners/?platform=hootsuite
- Five simple tips to turn a yard into a pollinator paradise: http://blog.nature.org/science/2015/07/20/5- simple-tips-your-yard-pollinator-paradise-bees-butterflies-decline/
- Ten tips for creating a home wildscape: https://www.natureswayresources.com/NLpdf/391LGNewsletter.pdf?fbclid=IwAR2z412WBslMJe4WPWmCp8_KKgJ_ft7HHuUQtCOCnSf7jFbtsQgSOWsS7xQ#page=3 and https://npsot.org/wp/story/2020/12236/
- Butterfly gardening in Houston: http://houstonarboretum.org/2015/03/butterfly-gardening-in- houston/
- Introduction to pollinator gardening: http://content.yardmap.org/learn/pollinators-at-home-intro-to- pollinator-gardening/
- Creating a low-maintenance wildscape (NPSOT): http://npsot.org/wp/story/2009/2188/
- “Neighborly Natural Landscaping in Residential Areas”: https://extension.psu.edu/neighborly- natural-landscaping-in-residential-areas
- Native-bee garden ideas and resources: http://www.houstonnativebees.org/learn/bee-habitats/
- “How to Turn Your Yard into an Ecological Oasis”: https://www.yesmagazine.org/environment/2020/02/07/yard-sustainability-native-plants/
- Homegrown National Park (Dr. Doug Tallamy): https://homegrownnationalpark.org/
·Articles and studies on decline of overall insect/arthropod numbers
- “Eight simple actions that individuals can take to save insects from global declines”: https://www.pnas.org/content/118/2/e2002547117
- Special feature in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (vol. 118, no. 2): “Global Decline of Insects in the Anthropocene”: https://www.pnas.org/content/118/2?fbclid=IwAR3FipkWDMbn2ATkeKsPyqHZ6dYXO- wdc7c1XmNMf0k6BddDmy5xMQcuFXo#TheGlobalDeclineofInsectsintheAnthropoceneSpecialFeature
- Call for action to avoid declines in insect abundance and diversity: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/335554972_Declines_in_insect_abundance_and_diversity_We_know_enough_to_act_now and https://conbio.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/csp2.80
- 4-part series on global insect declines (citing studies):
- Part 1: https://news.mongabay.com/2019/06/the-great-insect-dying-a-global-look-at-a-deepening-crisis/
- Part 2: https://news.mongabay.com/2019/06/the-great-insect-dying-vanishing-act-in-europe-and-north-america/
- Part 3: https://news.mongabay.com/2019/06/the-great-insect-dying-the-tropics-in-trouble-and-some-hope/
- Part 4: https://news.mongabay.com/2019/06/the-great-insect-dying-how-to-save-insects-and-ourselves/
- “Insect Declines and Why They Matter”: https://www.somersetwildlife.org/sites/default/files/2019- 12/FULL%20AFI%20REPORT%20WEB%20Small_1.pdf
- Blog of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation: https://xerces.org/blog (various topics on insect conservation)
- Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden, by Jessica Walliser
- Attracting Native Pollinators, by Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation
- Bringing Nature Home, by Dr. Doug Tallamy
- Garden Revolution, by Larry Weaner and Thomas Christopher
- The Living Landscape, by Rick Darke and Dr. Doug Tallamy
- Nature’s Best Hope, by Dr. Doug Tallamy
- A New Garden Ethic, by Benjamin Vogt
- Planting in a Post-Wild World, by Claudia West and Thomas Rainer
·St. Julian’s Crossing Wildlife Habitat
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.stjulianscrossing.com
- iNaturalist: laurenjansensimpson
- Facebook: St. Julian’s Crossing-wildlife habitat
- Instagram: @st_julians_crossing
- Pinterest: St. Julian’s Crossing Wildlife Habitat
- Lauren Simpson’s naturalist CV: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1dBx721_pMNpEfHUXNQwyn9CQRZMBRPOM6g6sWvN_f Xc/edit?usp=sharing
Save the Date: Saturday, July 17: Moth Night at Lawther – Deer Park Prairie Preserve
As they become available, updated information on this event will be posted on the homepage of HoustonPrairie.org.
Upcoming Chapter Meetings
Wednesday, July 28 via Zoom: Lauren Simpson on Pollinators
Wednesday, August 25 via Zoom: Jenny McCarthy of SWCA on Sage Grouse Study
Save the Date: Saturday, September 25, 6-9pm: Party for the Prairie
Join us for a fun evening of dinner and fundraiser for the Lawther-Deer Park Prairie Education Program at the Silver Sycamore, 5111 Pine Avenue, Pasadena, TX 77503 (silversycamore.com)
15% off Museum Memberships for Native Prairies Association of Texas* members & friends
Discount Code: NPATX15
Offer expires: 9/30/2021
Redeem here: www.hmns.org/joinnow
* 15% off applies to Dual-level memberships & above [Single? Get with a friend for a dual membership. “You can join with a friend for a dual membership. Each can give their own name and email, but only one physical mailing address.”]
* Memberships start at $65 with offer
(Note: all hyerlinks are in the text below or in the linked pdf version of flyer.)
Text of flyer:
Museum members receive unlimited free admission to the permanent exhibition halls and big discounts on special-ticketed exhibitions, events, Butterfly Center, Planetarium, Summer Camps, Museum Store and more! Members-only perks include priority ticket line and invitations to exclusive events.
Not only will an HMNS membership feed your love of science and the natural world, it supports science education in your community.
Think Native Prairies Assoc. museum meet-ups! An outing to see African and Texas wildlife, dinosaurs, geologic wonders, Imperial treasures and more—in air-conditioned comfort—is easy and free with HMNS membership.
Questions? contact email@example.com
Museum membership opens the door for you to visit again and again! Membership includes HMNS in Hermann Park and HMNS at Sugar Land.
You can’t see the entire museum all in one day. One day you may need a dinosaur fix, then a stroll through ancient Egypt the next. How about a trek through a butterfly-filled rainforest?
The wide-open spaces in the galleries and venues allow your family to distance and explore.
Memberships support science education in the Houston area by immediately contributing to our overhead allowing the lowest possible prices for school field trips.
HMNS, Museum District
5555 Hermann Park Drive
Houston, Texas 77030
HMNS @ Sugar Land
13016 University Blvd.
Sugar Land, Texas 77479
Wednesday, June 23, 2021, 7:00 pm
Beth Clark, Professional Landscape Architect with Clark Condon, Landscape Architecture, will be talking about Nine Natives for Shade Gardens – Creating Simple Gardens With Native Prairie Plants
(Registration required – scroll down for registration link)
Following the original Nine Natives, presenting in 2018, The Houston Native Prairie Association, Katy Prairie Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy Texas, and Clark Condon, Landscape Architecture present the next step: Nine Natives for Shade Gardens. The purpose of this guide is to introduce a simple palette of native plants for shade gardens for the Houston area. Creating a garden using native plants or adding natives to an existing garden can be simple and rewarding. The Nine Natives for Shade Gardens (plus a few alternates) were selected to work together to give a beautiful show in the garden throughout the year.
Beth Clark is a professional Landscape Architect with over 30 years of design experience with the award winning firm of Clark Condon, Landscape Architecture. Recent projects include design for the Houston Parks Board Bayou 2020 trails system and the Houston Botanic Garden. Beth is on the board of HNPAT and Urban Harvest and has an passion for prairies, plants, and natives species.
Link to the Nine Natives for Shade Gardens booklet at tinyurl.com/9NativesForShade
Login starts at 6:30 p.m.; presentation at 7:00 p.m.
REGISTRATION REQUIRED: Zoom registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUod-6rpzgjE9Sb-jzV199DpYC4uXlZHxFu
Immediately upon registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing the information needed to join the meeting. Please check your spam folder if you do not see the confirmation e-mail in your Inbox.The easiest way to join the meeting is to simply click on the link provided in the confirmation e-mail. The password is incorporated in the link.
You may log in as early as 6:30 PM to work through any connection issues.
Addendum: Keep checking our website HoustonPrairie.org for information about the upcoming Moth Night at Deer Park Prairie on a weekend date between July 17 – July 24.
The University of Houston Coastal Center, located in La Marque, is the home of the Texas Institute for Coastal Prairie Research and Education. The 925-acre site is a mosaic of pristine coastal tallgrass prairie, wetlands, forest, and coastal prairie in the process of restoration. The UHCC is a fenced and gated facility, but participants in the Houston City Nature Challenge will be welcome on Friday, April 30.
The gates will be open from 8 am to 9 am and from 11 am to noon. A UHCC representative will be at the gate to sign you in. When you sign in, you will be given a number to call when you are ready to leave so that the gate can be opened. We will sign people out as well (especially since we don’t want to leave anyone behind a locked gate!). We ask that visitors finish their surveys by 2:30 PM.
It would be a good idea to wear long pants and close-toed shoes, especially if you plan to walk out on the prairie. A hat is a good idea.
There are restrooms in the lab building, which will be open. Park in the back of the building and enter through the double doors.
I will be on site all day.
Here are directions and attached map for the UH Coastal Center in La Marque. Google maps link: https://goo.gl/maps/RXaN3aHo9TQYqiBe8
The street address is: 5721 Highway 2004, La Marque, TX 77568…
The U of H Coastal Center is located south of Houston off of I-45 (Gulf Frwy.) next to the La Marque Dog Track. Take the FM 1764-West exit from I-45 (Exit #15) and go WEST. DON’T take the FM 1764-East exit! After you exit onto the service road and reach the stoplight at the intersection with FM 1764, turn right (west) IF YOU ARE COMING FROM HOUSTON. IF YOU ARE COMING FROM GALVESTON, turn left (west) underneath the freeway. Next, make a left at the stoplight intersection onto FM 2004 and follow the road for about 1/4 mile. A Whataburger will be on one side of FM 2004 and the dog track will be on the other side of FM 2004. The road will join another and turn to the right. Go about 1/2 mile further on FM 2004 and the U of H Coastal Center will be on the right just beyond the dog track. The UH Coastal Center/Texas Institute for Coastal Prairie Research and Education is surrounded by a fence with a sign at the gate. Evelyn Evelyn L. Merz, M.B.A.Program DirectorUH Coastal CenterThe Texas Institute for Coastal Prairie Research and Education5721 Highway 2004; La Marque, TX 77568
Read the next blog for basics of City Nature Challenge & Deer Park Prairie being open on May 1, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. to CNC participants.
Below is information about the Houston-Galveston City Nature Challenge from Jaime Gonzalez, Houston Healthy Cities Program Director, of The Nature Conservancy, Texas Chapter – Houston Office:
“We are very excited to be just about two weeks away from this year’s global City Nature Challenge (April 30-May 3, 2021)!
Don’t let the title fool you. Yes, we absolutely want to observe and record species in our wonderful cities – like Houston and Galveston – but you can do this even in much of the countryside and seascapes surrounding our cities – we are all in this together (see the map… to see what counts in the Houston-Galveston region)!
[Note: to sign up for the Houston-Galveston City Nature Challenge Team:
- Go to iNaturalist.org
- Sign up or sign in
- Then go to https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2021-houston-galveston and click the “join” upper right]
This year, the Houston-Galveston City Nature Challenge Team (if you make observations in our region during CNC, you are on the team!) will join over 200+ Global Cities to observe, record, and identify the wildlife, plants life, and other living organisms of their regions using the amazing, free iNaturalist app. We will also be competing against other Texas regional teams, including the tough, talented team from Dallas-Fort Worth. This is real community science in action. The observations we make using the iNaturalist app can be used by scientists to track wildlife and plant populations and even plan habitat restorations that will benefit both them and humans.
Last year, even during the pandemic, our regional team set new records (see attached card). Lastly, we want you, your students, and your staff to be absolutely Covid Safe. Click here for some helpful hints on staying safe. Also, make sure to adhere to your local social distancing/masking guidelines and recommendations.
Below, please find resources to help you learn more about and engage your students with the City Nature Challenge and the iNaturalist app, and to create your own campus or neighborhood iNaturalist project that you can use during the City Nature Challenge and beyond! If you have any questions, need any resources, or want to share events or activities, please do not fail to contact me, Suzanne Simpson with Bayou Land Conservancy, or Nicole Temple from the Houston Museum of Natural Science – your regional co-coordinators
- About City Nature Challenge and the iNaturalist app
- How-To Videos
- Map of the Houston-Galveston Region’s City Nature Challenge Footprint
- ‘Terrific 12’ Wildlife and Plants – These are special organisms that we as the Houston-Galveston City Nature Challenge Team are looking hard to find along with thousands of other species! (attached)
HNPAT (Houston Chapter – Native Prairies Association of Texas) will be presenting its 2020 Prairie Volunteer Award to John Egan on Wednesday, December 2 (6:30 pm to 8:30 pm), at the annual Prairie Stampede via zoom this year (registration required at this link). (See flyer here)
The award is given to John especially for his work over the years at Sheldon Lake State Park as well as his other prairie volunteer work. In 2008, shortly after joining the Prairie Restoration Team at Sheldon Lake S.P. under the mentorship of Tom Solomon and Jim Duron, John became the leader of that Team. In that capacity he provided weekly planning for volunteers and served as the interface between Park Staff and the Prairie Team.
He also gathered and maintained detailed records of the Prairie Team efforts which included the names of volunteers and their hours, planting and propagation data by plant type, planting location information, and plant type inventory records. (Example Summary Report attached).
He also planned and lead Sheldon’s annual Prairie Plant-a-thons over the past decade which involved working with 100 or so volunteers and school groups to plant 1000-2000 new plants into the prairie.
Working closely with LyondellBasell Corporation and Park Staff, John has been the focal point for GCMN Chapter to receive grants supporting Sheldon activities. Grants to date now total $22,500.
John had become a Gulf Coast Master Naturalist in the Spring of 2008 and then served on the Chapter Board for 4 years as Secretary. He has participated in other prairie volunteer work. Periodically he participated as a team mentor at Armand Bayou Nature Center assisting volunteers for their annual Prairie Pandemonium event. He was also active at Jesse Jones helping to remove invasives off trail to allow native grasses and forbs room and sunlight to rebound. Also at Jesses Jones, with the help of GCMN volunteers, 100 native grasses and forbs were planted in the park’s pocket prairie. John is also a member of the Green Team at the Houston Parks Board. And when not involved in restoring native habitat, John spent several years at Sheldon trapping invasive beetles for a project sponsored by the USDA.
In 2016, John received the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for volunteer service signed by President Barack Obama. In 2019, TPWD recognized John with the Stars in our Parks award for his work at Sheldon. This year he will have achieved approximately 7500 volunteer hours much of which has been dedicated to prairie restoration. He continues to volunteer weekly at Sheldon as a member of the Prairie Team splitting his efforts to all the various activities. Going forward however he plans to spend more time on invasive management allowing the native prairie, now restored by restoration planting, to maintain a long and productive life.
John also sent the following thanks:
“Thank You From John Egan
2020 Prairie Stampede
I would like to thank HNPAT for this very valued recognition coming at a time in my life I can really
appreciate it. Special thanks to my wife Trish (an indoor girl), for her continued support to all my
outdoor adventures. Thanks to Tom Solomon for keeping the faith and to all the current members of the
Prairie Team at Sheldon consisting of Texas Master Naturalist and Park volunteers:
Gulf Coast Chapter – Paulette Pittman
Galveston Bay Area Chapter – Lana Burkowitz
Lower Trinity Basin Chapter – Mindee Poldrack
TPWD Volunteers – Glenn Braden
And a final thanks to Sheldon Lake Superintendent Kelley Parker and Resource Ranger Matthew Moore
for providing the opportunity.”
Recently blogged at this website was his answer about mowing to maintain a prairie. We plan to continue blogging his answers to various prairie related questions under the tag Prairie Wisdoms from Tim Siegmund
Question #1 (from Kirsti Harms, Executive Director, NPAT): What are the benefits of keeping bees on a prairie. Does that count as an agriculture valuation? Does it negatively impact native bees?
Tim’s answer: Yes to both. The law was changed to allow properties between 5 and 20 acres to qualify for ag by keeping bees, but you have to keep a lot of hives. More than that acreage could really support so they bees are depending on their neighbors. Yes, honey bees can out compete or over saturate areas to push out native pollinators. Further, honey bees are generalists so they can exclude species specialists from their preferred nectar source while also not begin quite as efficient at pollination as the native bee. So honeybees are cool, and beekeeping can help folks qualify for ag. However, they should be kept off natural areas as they can negatively impact our native pollinators.
Page 3 in TPWD’s Pollinator Management guidelines highlights the potentially detrimental relationship of honey bees with native bees. https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_bk_w7000_1813.pdf
…[I am] highlighting this link to our “Private Lands and Pollinators” page… There are lots of folks with wildscapes, prairie gardens, pocket prairies, and so on that might benefit from some of the resources on this webpage. It discusses different species of native pollinators and how to manage to attract them, and what species of plants to select as well. https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/wild/wildlife_diversity/nongame/native-pollinators/
Question #2 (from Andrew Coulter, HNPAT board member): How do the tax incentives for wildlife management/conservation (by which I mean, in this case, management to promote native pollinators) compare to the ag exemption for beekeeping?…
Tim’s answer: Beekeeping only allows you to take land from full value into an ag valuation which lowers the overall taxable value. It is then broken down into production catergories (native pasture, irrigated cropland, dryland cropland, orchard, bee keeping, etc). Once it’s been broken down into its categorical use the switch over to wildlife is tax neutral. So whatever it did to qualify for ag (farming, ranching, beekeeping) and the previous taxable value associate with that property stays with it as it moves to the wildlife valuation. Beekeeping is actually one of the highest appraised practices because on a per acre basis it raises more money than native range or other uses.
So there really is no incentive or disincentive between beekeeping and the wildlife valuation. Beekeeping can help those smaller properties between 5 and 20 acres to qualify for the open space exemption with an ag valuation. Then long term allow them to transition to the wildlife valuation at the same taxable rate if they so choose. In order to get to wildlife valuation currently you have to already be in an agricultural or timber valuation first.
Comment from Wally Ward (HNPAT board member): Dr. John Neff of the Central Texas Melittological Institute in Austin made a presentation to the Houston Chapter of the North American Butterfly Association several years ago. He said africanized bees have displaced European honeybees throughout much of Texas. Native bees are also more efficient pollinators. Honeybees are invasive exotics.