2017 Monthly Meetings


2017 Meetings/Events
Meetings are held on the Fourth WEDNESDAYS: Except November & December and are open to the public

Our meetings will mostly be at the new Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion in the
McGovern Centennial Gardens @ Hermann Park!
1500 Hermann Drive, Houston 77004

(parking lot entrance is directly across the street from the Health Museum)
Approximate GPS location: https://goo.gl/maps/j8msQ
Please join us at 6:30 pm for refreshments & presentation at 7:00 pm


If coming from the North on 59, exit Fannin. Turn left at Hermann Drive, then right on Caroline Street into Hermann Park by the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

If coming from the Southwest on 59, exit and turn right at Main Street. Go around Mecom Fountain and take Hermann Park Drive toward Sam Houston Monument and into the Park.

If coming from the North on 288, exit MacGregor and turn right onto North MacGregor. Hermann Park begins once you cross Almeda at the first traffic light. Continue on North MacGregor, turning right at the next light onto Cambridge Street, and then right again onto Hermann Park Drive, to reach the central parking lot and Zoo entrance.

If coming from the South on 288, exit MacGregor, turn left onto North MacGregor. Hermann Park begins once you cross Almeda at the first traffic light. Continue on North MacGregor, turning right at the next light onto Cambridge Street, and then right again onto Hermann Park Drive, to reach the central parking lot and Zoo entrance. 

(parking lot entrance is at the corner of Crawford and Hermann Dr. Do not drive into the park as some maps direct.) 

January 25, 2017

Seed Cleaning Party Sponsored by Katy Prairie Conservancy:

We will be cleaning seeds collected this fall and putting them in packets to be distributed to people willing to grow them out for KPC’s Great Growout Program. Come and see what these native seeds look like, how to clean them, and take some home. Learn about prairie plants and seeds from KPC experts.   KPC is providing pizza!

February 22, 2017

claudia-vassarClaudia Gee Vassar, interim executive director of the Houston Botanic Garden will speak about plans for the garden, which will be developed on a 120-acre site located on Sims Bayou in the Glenbrook area of Houston. 

Claudia is a native Houstonian and Rice graduate who earned a law degree from the University of Virginia. After practicing real estate and corporate law for a decade, Claudia decided to make a career change and began working with Houston nonprofits to help guide them through periods of transition and growth. She served as Interim Executive Director for SIRE, Inc., EMERGE Fellowship, and ArtBridge, and completed consulting projects for local organizations including the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University, Young Audiences of Houston, and Main Street Ministries. Claudia is excited to be working intimately with her first green organization and has enjoyed the camaraderie and collaboration to help people enjoy the outdoors and inspire them to be good environmental stewards.

March 22, 2017

Brian Loflin, author of Grasses of the Texas Hill Country: A Field Guide, will be speaking about his book and about Texas grasses!  This meeting is co-sponsored by the American Society of Landscape Architects.

April 26, 2017

View More: http://kristinalonzo.pass.us/morgan-russellIn today’s world, prairie maintenance and establishment seems a bit elusive.  Fragmentation, fire suppression, woody species encroachment, and other factors constantly threaten our prairie systems.  How do we maintain an system that was and is defined by change?  During “The Secret Life of Prairies” we will discuss below and aboveground vegetative dynamics that are the foundation of prairie diversity, productivity, and sustainability.  The mechanisms responsible for prairie function, integrity, and stability will be emphasized to create a meaningful understanding of our prairies processes and ecosystem function.

Texas A&M Assistant Professor and Extension Range Specialist Dr. Morgan Russell’s research has been focused on livestock grazing management and prescribed burning in semiarid environments.

Please note a location change for this month’s meeting
Community Meeting Room
at the South Gessner Police Department
8605 Westplace Drive
Houston, TX 77071

May 24, 2017

Bob Honig from the Katy Prairie Conservancy will be teaching us about the beautiful dragonflies we see around us.  The talk will end with attendees going out into Hermann Park to see what dragonflies we can find!

June 28, 2017

Texas Prairie Restoration: One Goal, Multiple Approaches.  How past land use dictates restoration efforts.

 The primary mission of restoration projects is the reestablishment of native plant communities utilizing historic literature and existing undisturbed habitats as species composition guidelines.  Harris County Flood Control District is currently restoring two different coastal prairies.  While the objective on both properties is the same, restoration of wet prairies, the methods vary.  This talk will detail the differences and similarities of converting a loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantation and old rice/cattle allotment into functional coastal prairie.

Andy Newman is the Mitigation Banking Program Manager for the Harris County Flood Control District.  His primary responsibility is the restoration of wetlands and streams to provide no-net loss of waters and wetlands in accordance with Section 404 of the Clean Water Act for all HCFCD projects.  Properties managed include a variety of habitats including bottomland hardwood forests, prairies, emergent marshes, and pine savannahs.  In addition to restoration, Mr. Newman has experience with wetland ecology, bird biology, identification of sedges and grasses, aquatic insects, and vegetation community classification.

July 26, 2017

Tim White from Environeering, a Houston-based environmental consulting firm, will discuss a project involving remediation of a former oil refinery in the Texoma area and that site’s restoration to native grasslands, riparian and wetland areas.  A Natural Resources Damage Assessment (NRDA) was performed on the site and, based on that assessment, approximately 100 acres of wetlands, 30 acres of grasslands and 5 acres of riparian area were constructed.  The talk will cover a brief summary of the sites activities as well as the criteria used to create the restored habitat.

Mr. White is the President of Environeering, Inc. in Houston, Texas.  He has a degree in Aquatic Biology from Roger Williams University in Rhode Island and is a Registered Environmental Manager with the National Association of Environmental Professionals.  He has over thirty years of experience in the environmental field and has broad project management experience in the petrochemical, manufacturing and oil & gas industries in the areas of solid and hazardous waste activities and remedial closure standards.  He has extensive experience in environmental remediation and restoration processes and policies at the federal, state and local levels.  Mr. White has served on the Board of Directors of the Houston Audubon Society, and will take over  as president of that board on July 1.

August 23, 2017

Film Festival!

September 27, 2017

Sarah Flourney from Houston Audubon will be talking about their “Bird Friendly Communities” initiative.

Birds are a fascinating way to explore the value of both large prairie systems and smaller pocket prairies. In addition to providing updates on Houston Audubon’s Bird-Friendly Communities vision and plans for the coming year, the program will highlight Houston’s iconic grassland bird species, where to find them in prairies, and how to manage habitat to support them.

Sarah Flournoy is  the Program Manager for Houston Audubon’s newest initiative, Bird Friendly Communities, which focuses on Houston’s resident and migrating birds. These programs aim to improve habitat for birds, support urban wildlife, and make Houston a happier, healthier place for people. Sarah is a native Houstonian and lifelong learner with a particular interest in how connection to nature improves physical and mental wellbeing. Sarah is also a member of the Texas Regional Council of the National Parks Conservation Association, a board member of The Woods Project, and an advisory board member of Houston Wilderness.

This meeting will be held at the Old Golf Course Clubhouse, 6201 Hermann Park Drive.

October 25, 2017

How Do I Work With My HOA?
Retired geologist, Gulf Coast Master Naturalist and Copperfield resident Julie d’Ablaing will be sharing the story of how she convinced her Homeowners Association to let her install a pocket prairie in a public area.  She’ll discuss how she presented the idea to her HOA, how she solicited help with the installation, prairie maintenance, and lessons learned.  This will be a great primer for anyone who is interested in working with their HOA on a native plant installation!

November 29, 2017