Nature Related Free Presentations and Videos updated 9/3/2020

Updated 9/3/2020

Recently there are so many interesting free presentations and videos/podcasts online. After missing some, I’ve decided to organize some of those that might be interesting to people interested in nature, conservation, etc. Included are date, title, registration information. This is not a comprehensive list, but just some of which I am aware. Also note, many online meetings have limited capacity, so register early.

Free Zoom-type Presentations & Webinars : updated 9/3/2020

Free videos / podcasts

Check out the five videos by the Deer Park Prairie Education Program in this Youtube channel . Read about the videos here: )


This list will be updated as more information becomes available, so bookmark this page to come back to it.


Powerpoint: Build a Pocket Prairie – Prairie Garden

This is the PowerPoint presentation (or click the above picture) of the talk given by Lan Shen via Zoom on July 2 to the Texas Master Naturalist, Coastal Prairie Chapter. The talk was basically information provided in Katy Prairie Conservancy’s “Build a Pocket Prairie” by Jaime Gonzalez.

A few of the slides have speaker notes attached. To see the speaker notes, view the pdf version of the presentation.

Urban Prairie Series Written & Edited by Bob Romero

Bob Romero publishes the Urban Prairie Series about our local pocket prairies in HNPAT newsletters.  Links to the pertinent newsletters in this Series are listed below. For each link, scroll down to the Urban Prairie Series article.

MD Anderson Prairie by Flo Hannah

Blog by Don Verser on the Mandell Prairie Garden

In Memory of Charlie Lundquist – Deer Park Prairie Volunteer

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We are extremely sad to announce that HNPAT (Houston – Native Prairies Association of Texas) member and devoted Lawther – Deer Park Prairie (DPP) volunteer Charlie Lundquist of Friendswood passed away on Saturday, May 16, 2020. Charlie had been volunteering at Deer Park Prairie since 2014, the year when NPAT acquired the Prairie.  The funeral service will be accessible via Zoom at 4:00 pm on Saturday, May 23, 2020. Email for more information.

Charlie’s sister, Katie Sallean, contacted NPAT to let us know that she wants to set up a memorial in his name at DPP, because he loved it so much.  We thought a project to build the Charles Lundquist Memorial Boardwalk into the prairie would allow people of all ages and physical abilities access to the prairie including to the wetland areas. That would be one of the best ways to experience the prairie and we think that would have made Charlie very happy.

To honor Charlie’s memory, the family requested donations toward this boardwalk project.  Also, read more about Charlie’s “passion in…observing the natural world and striving to understand the complexities that come with its beauty.” at the NPAT blog:

On a personal note, I met Charlie in the summer of 2014 when his sister Katie brought him to a Memorial Park Prairie walk prior to a Native Plant Society of Texas – Houston Chapter (NPSOT-H) monthly meeting. When we talked about NPAT’s newly acquired Deer Park Prairie, Charlie said that he lived not too far from Deer Park.  Shortly thereafter, he started coming to DPP to volunteer. As Katie said, “[Charlie] felt it was a great misfortune that, through our modern-day actions, the unique and exceptional flora and fauna that have evolved over eons are being wiped out. This feeling spurred Charlie to action and Lawther – Deer Park Prairie became that outlet.”

To maintain DPP, there are routine tasks that need to be done and our regular volunteers often take them on. For Charlie, one of those tasks was mowing the fenceline. In addition to whatever special task of the workday, Charlie was often on the mower creating a firebreak, a walking/driving path along the west side between the prairie and our neighbors’ backyard fences.‘ backyard fences.
We missed Charlie, this past winter, while he was ill. We will miss him on future workdays.
Lan Shen
HNPAT Volunteer at Deer Park Prairie


Shady Nine: Video Presentation & Vote for Your Favorite Local Native Plants for the Shade

HNPAT’s first Zoom monthly meeting was a HUGE success, thanks to speaker Beth Clark, Principal at Clark Condon Landscape Architect & HNPAT Vice-President, and Bob Romero, HNPAT Communications Chair, who handled all the technical aspects of the Zoom meeting. We had a record 78 attendees!

Video of Beth Clark’s Zoom talk on April 29, 2020 on “Shady Nine” (nine native plants for the shade garden) has been uploaded and available for viewing. The recording did not start at the beginning of her talk, but rather at the point, when she started talking about the shade plants.

As promised, we are letting you vote for your favorite NINE local native plants for a shade garden. However, please be aware, that the final list will NOT totally be dependent on which plants receive the most votes. Scroll down for link to the survey.


Video of Beth Clark’s Zoom talk on April 29, 2020 on “Shady Nine”click here.

Spread sheet of information about the plants is at this link.  The list is based on Beth Clark’s talk plus plants suggested via the Zoom chat that evening.

Attendees’ chat log is also available here.


From Beth: “The parameters for selection are for species that grow in part to full shade. Example – Under a live oak they may get early or late afternoon sun but no sun mid-day. So this palette is the natives alternate to the shade garden of azalea, aspidistra, gingers, etc.

All species need to have ‘significant landscape value.’ The foliage needs to have substance, even when not in flower. Some deciduous and perennial species are ok but need some evergreen.

Please keep in mind the CRITERIA for good nine native plant candidates:

  • Simple palette
  • Commercially available plants or seeds
  • Desirable growth habit
  • Appropriate to gardens; compatible in urban and/or suburban settings
  • Potential for use in neighborhood street medians
  • Plants with a high chance of persistence (not composed of species that will quickly faded away).
  • Seasonality: this plants can be part of a combination that will provide visual appeal year-round
  • Highly beneficial to wildlife.
  • Ethnobotanical value

Click here for google form to vote for your favorite nine local natives for a shade garden.

Please vote only once per person. However, if you change your mind, you can change your vote. Just save your response receipt from google form.

Upcoming on May 27: Native Plants for Green Roofs by Bruce Dvorak, professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning at Texas A&M and part of the Interdisciplinary Green Roof Research Group. More information on our home page A Zoom meeting. Registration (link on home page) required. Limited to 100 attendees.


Update on City Nature Challenge 2020

An update on City Nature Challenge (CNC) from Jaime Gonzalez is posted below.


  • CNC will still be on, but NOT as a contest: observations being made and shared April 24 – 27; observations being uploaded and identified April 28 – May 3
  • People are encouraged to take photos of nature in keeping with local public health guidelines. For example, find nature in the backyard.
  • Virtual events, trainings, and lectures are on April 11, 15, 22. Details given below
  • See Houston-Galveston City Nature Challenge webpage for more information.

Jaime’s email:

Dear Houston-Galveston City Nature Challenge Team,

Click on photo for full page size.

We all hope that this email finds you well. As you know this is a time of great challenge. It is also a time when many people are rediscovering the nature all around them for mental and physical well being. The organizers of the City Nature Challenge have made the thoughtful decision to move forward with this year’s event from April 24-May 3, 2020 but with some important safety modifications to ensure that we, our loved ones, our partners and our colleagues remain safe during this time of Covid-19 (we ask that all participants read and widely share the safety section below).

Changes and Safety for this Year’s Challenge

We can’t say how very excited we are that the Houston-Galveston City Nature Challenge Team is getting back together. As you know, last year our region placed #1 in the USA and #3 globally for species observed during the challenge! Although we are very proud of last year’s effort, this year will look and feel different.

  • We are not calling this a competition this year and will not be seeing leaderboards. This is a time for solidarity with our fellow cities/regions across the planet (yes, even Dallas ). Therefore, we are seeing this as an opportunity to [enjoy] nature and to add to our growing and amazing observations in Texas.
  • We also will highly, highly discourage any public gatherings or bioblitzes this year and highly encourage all participants to consider making observations closer to home (including in your yards or nearby nature) and only with people that you have already made a decision to Stay at Home with, aka you QuaranTeam. For example, I am quarantining with my son, wife, and her parents and those are the only people I will experience the Challenge within person this year. We are pushing the hashtag #backyardchallenge to further encourage participants to rediscover their dwellings as place rich with nature.
  • SAFETY GUIDANCEClick here to find and share very important safety information for experiencing and participating in the Challenge. Texas Parks will issue additional safety language soon and we will send to you as soon as we get it.


Sharing Upcoming Virtual Events, Virtual Trainings, and Virtual Lectures


Contact City Nature Challenge Leadership/Team Members

  • National/International Coordinators – California Academy of Sciences and LA County Museum of Natural History
  • State Coordinator – Dr. Tania Homayoun, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
  • Regional Coordinators
  • Coastal Team Coordinators for Houston-Galveston City Nature Challenge Team
    • Anna Vallery, Houston Audubon
    • Elizabeth Winston-Jones, Lone Star Alliance
    • Sasha Francis, Galveston Bay Foundation
  • River Team Coordinator for Houston-Galveston
    • Bruce Bodson, Lower Brazos River Watch
  • Questions about eBird to iNaturalist Conversions (Attached)

As always, thank you for all you do for the environment and conservation. Please share this information with your networks and if you have any questions, please reach out to me via phone (281) 660-6683 or email.


Jaime González
Houston Healthy Cities
Program Director 



    ​ The Nature Conservancy
Texas Chapter – Houston Office
3801 Kirby Dr., Suite 740
Houston, TX ​77098

2020 Party for the Prairie: Photos and Report

From the HNPAT March Newsletter (subscribe to the monthly newsletter at ):

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Native Prairie Association of Texas’ (NPAT’s) first Party for the Prairie, a luncheon on March 7, 2020 at Safari Texas Ranch to raise funds to sustain the Lawther – Deer Park Prairie Education Program, was a Texas-size success! We raised over $26,000 to sustain this highly successful program. This invaluable program has for the past two years connected people of all ages to their natural and cultural heritage and provided prairie lessons through programs at schools, field trips to the Lawther – Deer Park Prairie Preserve, teacher workshops, aiding pocket prairies installations, and a girls camp this summer.

Thank you very much to all Party for the Prairie sponsors, attendees, and donors!

People who were not there missed a fun party! (Scroll down for the program.) During the initial social hour, our supporters were treated with mimosas and delicious hors d’oeuvres, while they had fun (re-)connecting with prairie experts and each other, competing for silent auction items, buying prairie related books, and visiting with authors Joe and Ann Liggio (Wild Orchids of Texas) and Jason Singhurst (Rare Plants of Texas) who brought their books for signing and purchase. Silent auction items included art, photography, books, Astros tickets and even a special chandelier!

After a welcome by Della Barbato, NPAT Director of Education, lunch was served. During lunch, Jaime Gonzalez talked about the Deer Park Prairie Story, Della about Deer Park Prairie Education, and there was a tribute slideshow by Lisa Spangler about our honorees – Susan and Peter Conaty on saving the Nash Prairie.

Then came the lively auction of special prairie tours around the state followed by the paddle raise to donate to specific causes. Honoree Susan Conaty then shared her delightful stories about the preservation of Nash Prairie. Cassidy Johnson ended the program with three prairie trivia questions. Can you answer these?

  1. In which plant family is rattlesnake master?
  2. Which species of bunch grass was mentioned during a State of the Union address?
  3. Extracts of this native forb have mild, antibiotic properties.

Some photos taken by Bob Romero and selected by Kirsti Harms are at

A fun time was had by all. If you missed it this year, we will be hosting this Party for the Prairie next year. Look for it and join us!

The Program:

Party for the Prairie to Benefit Deer Park Prairie Education Program


You are cordially invited
to join us in honoring
the conservation work of

Susan and Peter Conaty at

Party for the Prairie!

Saturday March 7, 2020
from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

at the Safari Texas Ranch,
Palm Pavilion

11627 FM 1464, Richmond, TX 77407

Attire: Texas Festive

There will be a silent and a live auction, an opportunity to test your prairie knowledge, and time to visit with your prairie friends. Learn more about the Lawther-Deer Park Education ProgramAll proceeds will go toward this education program benefitting the young AND the not-so-young.

Updates posted on home page: register for 1/22/20 Seed Cleaning & Packing PIZZA PARTY

Sorry for the delay! The registration link and information for the 1/22/2020 Seed Cleaning & Packing PIZZA PARTY is now posted on our home page

Check out also the upcoming events:

  • Gala Luncheon (3/7/2020) to fund raise for the Deer Park Prairie Education Program and
  • City Nature Challenge (April 24 – April 27, 2020).
  • Tentatively (check back in a week after the HNPAT board meeting) we are again planning a Spring Wildflower Day with insect tent on April 25. At this event participants are encouraged to take photos for posting onto City Nature Challenge.

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.