Jim Duron Honored with HNPAT’s 2019 Prairie Volunteer Award

Jim Duron upon completion of 20,000 Texas Master Naturalist hours

HNPAT (Houston Chapter – Native Prairies Association of Texas) will be presenting its 2019 Prairie Volunteer Award to Jim Duron, Texas Master Naturalists, Galveston Bay Area Chapter with over 20,000 volunteer hours, on Wednesday,

Prairie Friday volunteers ABNC, 2007

December 4, 2019 at the Prairie Stampede potluck (free, all welcome, please register). Please join us in celebrating this award and all 2019 coastal prairie accomplishments. Jim is a long-time prairie volunteer involved in multiple prairie restoration activities with multiple organizations:

  • Jim’s volunteerism started in 2007 with the Prairie Friday group at Armand Bayou Nature Center (ABNC) where from 2014 – present, he has led all aspects related to plant generation.
  • He was involved in restoration at Sheldon Lake State Park on Tuesday mornings, 2007 – 2010.
  • Harvesting Switchgrass Seeds from TCPP’s Seed Production Facility 1, 2013

    Jim led the Tuesday morning volunteer workdays at Texas City Prairie Preserve 2010 – July, 2019 and produced the plants that were planted in the prairie during this period.  After stepping down as the leader, he continues to work as a restoration volunteer at TCPP.

  • Jim has been involved with prairie restoration at San Jacinto Battleground since 2012. From 2014 – present he leads the plant production effort there as well as Thursday morning workdays.
  • In summary, from 2007 – present, Jim has volunteered for prairie workdays Tuesday and Friday mornings. Since 2012 he has been volunteering for prairie workdays Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings and has been in leadership roles most of the time.
  • In addition to the workdays, Jim has been involved in other aspects of plant generation. In Jim’s words “The generation of the plants that support the restoration effort is a very time consuming task.  The effort begins with the collecting, cleaning and storage of the seeds. Then the seeds are germinated in several greenhouses around the supported areas.  During [my] tenure as the plant propagation lead, [I] use greenhouses at the NASA Long Horn Project, at the College of the Mainland , at the Armand Bayou Nature Center and at the San Jacinto Battle Ground.  Since 2014, [I have] generated over 170,000 seedlings in support of the restoration activities at the different sites.  The seedlings are taken from the greenhouses to the restoration sites where they are placed in 1 gallon containers by the volunteer groups. They are then staged until they are ready to plant in the prairie.  [I organize] the potting, staging and watering effort to get the plants ready. For each planting event, [I identify] the individual plant types that will be taken into the field and planted.

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Jim chronicles his volunteer career in prairie restoration:

Jim began his restoration experience in April 2007.  Getting ready to retire from the rat race, he was looking for something to do with his time.  After a hint from his wife, he joined the Prairie Friday group at the Armand Bayou Nature Center (ABNC).  This group meets every Friday morning and is responsible for the generation of prairie grasses and forbs that will be planted  in the prairie. In 2014, the Prairie Friday lead stepped down and Jim took over all the aspects related to plant generation. This is a task that Jim continues to perform to this day.

In November of 2007, one of the rangers at Sheldon Lake State Park (SLSP) contacted Prairie Friday volunteers about starting a prairie restoration group at the SLSP.  With the ABNC restoration lead, the new restoration group started generating plants. Jim continued to support the restoration effort at SLSP, until October of 2010.  

In October of 2010, Jim was approached by the lead of the restoration efforts at the Texas City Prairie Preserve (TCPP).  She needed to step down from the leadership role. Accepting the invitation, Jim took over the restoration lead at the TCPP.  Meeting every Tuesday morning, Jim led the effort to generate the grasses and forbs that were planted in the prairie. This is a position that he held until July of 2019 when he stepped down as the lead.  Jim continues to work as a restoration volunteer at the center.

In April of 2012, Prairie Friday volunteers were again approached by a ranger from one of the other state parks about starting a restoration effort. With a very small group of volunteers, the restoration activities at the San Jacinto Battle Ground (SJBG) began.  Meeting every Thursday morning, the group began the process of generating grasses and forbs that were planted in the prairie. In 2014, Jim took over the plant generation portion of the restoration effort. This is a position that he holds to this day

The generation of the plants that supports the restoration effort is a very time consuming task.  The effort begins with the collecting, cleaning and storage of the seeds. Then the seeds are germinated in several greenhouses around the supported areas.  During Jim’s tenure as the plant propagation lead, he uses greenhouses at the NASA Long Horn Project, at the College of the Mainland , at the Armand Bayou Nature Center and at the San Jacinto Battle Ground.  Since 2014, Jim has generated over 170,000 seedlings in support of the restoration activities at the different sites. The seedlings are taken from the greenhouses to the restoration sites where they are placed in 1 gallon containers by the volunteer groups. They are then staged until they are ready to plant in the prairie.  Jim organizes the potting, staging and watering effort to get the plants ready. For each planting event, he defines the individual plant types that will be taken into the field and planted.

In 2008 Jim became a member of the Galveston Bay Area Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists.  He served as the membership lead for 9 years before stepping down at the end of 2018. He still supports many of the chapter activities especially in the area of prairie restoration.  During his service with the chapter he has accumulated over 20,000 volunteer service hours.

 

2019 Prairie Stampede – Prairie Awards & Holiday Potluck

All are invited to the Prairie Potluck Holiday Celebration & Awards Dinner (free) on Wed., December 4 at 50 Waugh Dr, Houston, TX 77007
We always have fun at this annual event celebrating our prairie champions (scroll down to read about our honorees) and prairie achievements of the current year. This year HNPAT (Houston Chapter – Native Prairies Association of Texas) and Coastal Prairie Partnership (CPP) will be supplying the turkey. PLEASE REGISTER so we can have a headcount. Also please register using the above link rather than through the facebook event.
 The Houston Native Prairies Association of Texas will be honoring long-time prairie champion and Galveston Bay Area Chapter – Texas Master NaturalistJim Duron with the 2019 Prairie Volunteer Award for his tireless work!
 
CPP will award the 2019 Flo Hannah Prairie Excellence Award for career achievement to Bill Neiman of Native American Seed for his multi-decade efforts in growing prairie seeds at scale and for his advocation of prairies across Texas and the Dick Benoit Upper Texas Coast Prairie Award to Dr. Stephen Benigno of Harris County Flood Control District for his pioneering prairie research. 
 
We will also hear success stories from many other organizations and individuals in the coastal prairie community of Greater Houston and the Cajun Prairie, so get those stories ready!
 
Be ready to send a slide of your successes this year. Cassidy Johnson is also putting together a running loop of 2019 photos of prairie projects/people/activities, so send yours to her at PrairiePartner@gmail.com. Preferred format is to have the photo(s) and captions on powerpoint slide(s).
Schedule:
6:00 p.m. Doors open
6:30 p.m. Pot luck starts
7:00 p.m. Program starts
 
Acknowledgement: Flyer and words by Jaime Gonzalez with modifications

Annual Prairie Stampede – Wednesday, December 4

  

Register Here

Join the prairie community of southeast Texas and coastal Louisiana as we celebrate the great work happening locally to save, restore, and teach prairies. We will present awards to prairie champions and enjoy a delicious potluck dinner. Please bring a dish to share. Register today!

As in past years, the program will include 2019 Prairie Accomplishments. Promote your group’s 2019 prairie accomplishments by sending a powerpoint slide or two summarizing these accomplishments to Lan.Shen@txgcmn.org . Your slides will be forwarded and included in the program.

Schedule:
6:00 p.m. Doors open
6:30 p.m. Pot luck starts
7:00 p.m. Program starts

Link to Flyer

Nine Natives at Garden Club of Houston’s Bulb Mart

Last year’s sale of Nine Natives at the Bulb Mart was so successful that the ladies of the Garden Club of Houston led by Margaret Pierce grew more Nine Natives for this year’s Bulb Mart, which will be held today & tomorrow. The specifics from https://www.gchouston.org/bulb-plant-mart-info/:

Friday, 10/4/19 9am-5pm

Saturday, 10/5/19 9am-2pm

Location: The Church of St. John the Divine, 2450 River Oaks Boulevard, 77019

Margaret sent some photos of this year’s display.

 

 

New to Nine Natives? Read about it at Katy Prairie Conservancy’s Nine Natives page or in our blog.

A testimonial about Nine Natives: Maria Onufrow on wrote,

“I just wanted to say thanks to those involved for making this a reality. I bought the flats of nine natives last year at the Bulb and Plant Mart and planted them in my garden. They are doing great! I’d be interested in buying more if they are on sale again.”

 

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 Lshen@katyprairie.org 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 tinyurl.com/DPP190720

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

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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 HNPAT@TexasPrairie.org

Improve Wildlife Habitat of a Disturbed Property

Photo from the article

In the May, 2019, Texas Wildlife is an article by Keith Pawelek, Associate Director of Texas Naive Seeds Program titled “Land Disturbance, Problem or Opportunity”. The article gives tips on how to use land disturbance as an opportunity to improve the wildlife habitat of a property and can be found at this link: https://issuu.com/texaswildlifeassociation/docs/2019-05-proof5/44. The emphasis is on seeding with native plants.

Thanks to Alyssa Conn for pointing out this article.

For a size to actually read it, hover the cursor on the page and click the full screen icon that appears (on the lower right). Aside: I hate issuu, however, that is the only format where I found the article. How long the link will be active is unknown, so if you want to save the article, take screen shots and save that way.

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
SPRING WILDFLOWER DAY
AT THE LAWTHER – DEER PARK PRAIRIE PRESERVE

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
(citynaturechallenge.org 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 HoustonPrairie.org, especially if you are planning to lunch with us. (Or register at https://tinyurl.com/DPP190427 ). If convenient, please bring a printed and signed field trip waiver.

Katy Prairie Conservancy’s City Nature Challenge Event

Learn about living organisms on the coastal prairie by participating in two City Nature Challenge events on Houston Prairies:

  • On Saturday, April 27 at Deer Park Prairie in east Harris County. More information here.
  • On Sunday, April 28 at Katy Prairie Conservancy Preserve in far west Harris County. See below.

From a Katy Prairie Conservancy announcement:

HI,
Join us for City Nature Challenge! Let’s help Houston win by participating in KPC’s City Nature Challenge Event!
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When: Sunday, April 28th from 9 a.m. to noon
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Where: Matt Cook Memorial Wildlife Viewing Platform & Rockhollow Creek on the Katy Prairie Conservancy Preserve
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What: The City Nature Challenge is a competition between cities of the world using iNaturalist.org. This international bioblitz-style competition asks individuals to find and document plants and wildlife in cities across the world. Houston will compete against other cities to see which one can make the most observations of nature, find the most species, and engage the greatest number of people.
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Sound fun? Meet at the Matt Cook Viewing Platform parking lot (Location: http://www.katyprairie.org/visit or google map) at 9:00 a.m., Sunday, April 28. Please dress for the outdoors (closed toe shoes, long pants, hat); also recommended are sunscreen, bug spray, water. Bring your camera and a signed liability release or sign one when you get there. For more information, email Lshen@katyprairie.org.
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Note: no bathroom facilities available at the location.
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Can’t come? Sign up for an iNaturalist.org (free) account and post photos or sounds (e.g. bird calls) of living organisms from greater Houston (see this link for map of area) between 12 a.m. CDT April 26 and 11:59 p.m. CDT April 29. You do not have to identify the organism. You can take photos to be posted later, but within the contest time span. In order for your photos to count, be sure to turn your location on when taking the photos OR enter the locations manually on the computer, when uploading the photos. For more information, see our previous blog.