Teaching City-Slickers about Prairies through School Lessons, Pocket Prairies, Storytelling and Technology


North American Prairie Conference

June 5 – Della Barbato, Director of Education, co-facilitated an education workshop at the NAPC with Jaime Gonzales titled Prairie 101 – Teaching City-Slickers about Prairies through School Lessons, Pocket Prairies, Storytelling and Technology.  I asked Rhonda Burrow from Katy High School to discuss her experiences building a one-acre pocket prairie on her campus.  Workshop topics discussed:  NPAT and history, Deer Park Prairie and history, my student and adult education programs, connecting the ecosystem to belief and value systems, teaching audiences about themselves and where they live, connecting to neighborhoods, building pocket prairies with signage to educate and a name that connects with them, and building the Katy HS Pocket Prairie.

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


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

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:

Join us for City Nature Challenge! Let’s help Houston win by participating in KPC’s City Nature Challenge Event!
When: Sunday, April 28th from 9 a.m. to noon
Where: Matt Cook Memorial Wildlife Viewing Platform & Rockhollow Creek on the Katy Prairie Conservancy Preserve
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.
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.
Note: no bathroom facilities available at the location.
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.

City Nature Challenge 2019

Help Houston Win the City Nature Challenge (citynaturechallenge.org), April 26 – April 29!

Cities around the world will be competing to see who can make the most observations of nature, find the most species, and engage the most people in the 2019 City Nature Challenge.

To participate is quite easy:

  • Open a free account on iNaturalist
  • Take photos or record sound (e.g. birds, frogs) of living organisms; record location of this observation. Observations must be made and posted between April 26 – April 29.
  • Post your observations on iNaturalist. Either take the photo with location feature on or enter the location manually later on the computer.
  • You do not need to ID your observations.

Photo from citynaturechallenge.org

For your observation to count for Houston, it must be within the area on the map here: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2019-houston (scroll down).

Organized events for CNC in greater Houston are listed at this link. Learn more about living organisms on the prairie at these two prairie CNC events:

  • Deer Park Prairie’s Spring Wildflower Day on Saturday, April 27. More information at this blog: https://houstonprairie.org/2019/04/24/5yr-dpp-cnc/
  • Katy Prairie Conservancy’s CNC event at Matt Cook Viewing Platform & Rockhollow Creek on Sunday, April 28. More information here.

See below for the CNC ID Party at the Houston Arboretum on May 1.

City Nature Challenge ID Party