2018 Seed Collecting Season Starts!

Seed collecting is a leisurely way to enjoy the prairie and learn about prairie grasses. Join friends and family for outdoor fun while gathering seeds ripe for collecting. No experience necessary as we work to support numerous organizations in the region. Make an impact and visit prairies often not open to the public.
The seed collecting trips are Katy Prairie Conservancy volunteer events. To be notified of other future seed collecting trips, please email Lshen@katyprairie.org with your email address and subject: “Place me on the seed collecting list”

2nd Wednesdays June – December at Deer Park Prairie

1st Fridays in July & August on the Katy Prairie

Hi Seed Collectors, 
Another seed collecting season has started. Come and collect seeds and see the prairie in bloom starting this Wednesday, June 13, 2018 at the Deer Park Prairie. From June – December, the Katy Prairie Conservancy and the Houston Chapter – Native Prairies Association of Texas will host Second Wednesdays seed collecting at Deer Park Prairie, 9:00 am – noon.
On first Fridays, July 6 and August 3, seed collectors will have an opportunity to visit Katy Prairie Conservancy properties to either collect seeds and/or plant some prairie plants in the ground in restoration areas.
1.  Second Wednesdays, June – December
  • Time: 9:00 a.m. – noon
  • Meet at 1222 E. Purdue Lane, Deer Park, Texas 77035 (Google map)
  • Please do not park directly in front of our neighbors’ houses
  • Please do bring a signed liability release (NPAT)
  • Carpool: Reply to this email for carpooling opportunity from the Kroger parking lot at S. Post Oak & W. Bellfort or from a residential area adjacent to S. Main & Buffalo Speedway
  • Upcoming seed collecting 2nd Wednesdays at Deer Park Prairie are on
    July 11, August 8, September 12, October 10, November 14, and December 12
2. Friday, July 6, 2018 – Katy Prairie Conservancy – Indiangrass Preserve
General Instructions:  
  • Everyone is welcome!
  • You may collect for KPC, for any other non-profit organization, or for your own personal use
  • If you have them, please bring pruners or scissors, a bucket or a reusable grocery bag, and a pen. Supplies are available if needed.
  • Please wear closed-toe shoes and long pants. We recommend you bring hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, a long-sleeved shirt, and a camera.
  • Water and light snack are usually available.
**********  Equipment of a Serious Seed Collector  *************
Cullen Ondrasek using a self-made seed collecting apparatus that allows him to collect with both hands. He credits the original idea to Tom Solomon.

Upcoming Prairie Events

Check out all the upcoming prairie events
and SAVE THE DATES!

Scroll down for flyers for several of the events listed.

  • 2nd Wednesdays, June – December. HNPAT & Katy Prairie Conservancy sponsor seed collecting mornings at Deer Park Prairie, 1222 E. Purdue Ln, Deer Park, TX. RSVP is required to LShen@katyprairie.org
  • Wednesday, June 20 – Pollinator Workshop at Deer Park Prairie, 6PM – 8PM. An NPAT event. Registration required. Flyer below.
  • Saturday, June 23 – Invasive Plant Species ID and Treatment Workshop at Deer Park Prairie, 9AM – 1PM, taught by Glenn Merkord. Registration required – click here. A HNPAT & CPP event. Flyer below.
  • Saturday, June 30 – Houston Urban Conservation Summit, Sheldon Lake State Park, 9AM – 2PM with site tour option at 8AM. Registration required at this link. A HNPAT & CPP event. Flyer below.
  • Wednesday, July 18 – Prairie 101 Teacher Workshop, Deer Park Prairie, 9AM -3PM. Registration required. Flyer below
  • Tueday, July 24 – Prairie 201 Teacher Workshop (Teachers have attended 101 and have working pocket prairies on campus, with KPC), Deer Park Prairie, 9AM -3PM. Registration required. Flyer below.
  • Wednesday, July 25 & Saturday, July 28 – HNPAT celebrates National Moth Week with Moth Talk at 2700 Southwest Fwy on 7/25 & Moth Night at Deer Park Prairie on 7/28. See our blog here. Flyer below.

 

  • Annual Prairie Month Activities: end of September through mid-November
  • Saturday, September 29 – SAVE THE DATE – Fall Prairie Day at Deer Park Prairie.
  • Wednesday, October 17 – SAVE THE DATE – Houston GREEN Film Series @ Rice Media Center, 6:30PM – 9PM. In lieu of an October HNPAT meeting, HNPAT joins CPP and CEC to present this film event.
  • Wednesday, November 28 – SAVE THE DATE – Prairie Stampede at Houston Zoo. Annual awards presentation and gathering of the coastal prairie community. A HNPAT & CPP event.

 


Click photo below to get flyer in pdf form

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Click photo below to get flyer in pdf form

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To read the blog, click here.

2018 Moth Week

National Moth Week with HNPAT

Join the Houston Chapter – Native Prairies Association of Texas (HNPAT)
for our National Moth Week programs.
(National Moth Week Flyer   —   HNPAT Moth Week Flyer)

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Stuart Marcus, Refuge Manager, Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge presents
Moths of Trinity River National Wildlife Refuge
6:30 p.m. Social; 7:00 p.m. Meeting starts
American Red Cross Building,  2700 Southwest Fwy, Houston, TX 77098
(North side of SW Freeway near Kirby)

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Saturday, July 28, 2018
Moth Night at Deer Park Prairie

8:00 p.m. Doors open – visitors are encouraged to walk and view the prairie in the relative coolness and breeze just before sunset
9:00 p.m. Moth and night insect viewing begins
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.
Visitors are welcome to drop by and leave at any time.
Light snacks will be provided in the house.
Read our blog about the 2014 Moth Night: tinyurl.com/dpp140724
We encourage you to post your photos on iNaturalist and add them to the Deer Park Prairie Project.

For more information, contact HNPAT@TexasPrairie.org

Photos of CNC at Deer Park Prairie

City Nature Challenge (CNC) ended over a month ago. However, for completeness, we are blogging the result (scroll to the bottom) and showing some photos of CNC at Deer Park Prairie on our Spring Prairie Day. If you think the activities look interesting, SAVE THE DATE and join us on our Fall Prairie Day, September 28, 2018. More information on exact times for the Fall Prairie Days are forthcoming.

Visitors first met Mary Waters, President of HNPAT, at the registration table. Then they had opportunities to join iNaturalist instructions session by Kelly Reierson, a plant walk led by Jane Reierson aided by Wally Ward, and an insect segment by Chuck Duplant, who captured the insect by sweep netting and then put them in the Petri dish for better viewing and identification. Hazel Potvin and Silvia Gederberg provided the food. Thanks to all who helped make this an enjoyable day.

The City Nature Challenge results were summarized by Sarah Flournoy of Houston Audubon who wrote: “Nature Challenge 2018 has drawn to a close, and Houston definitely brought it! Houston came in first for species identified in Texas and in SECOND for the WORLD for number of identified species (barely behind San Francisco Bay, the host of CNC). A special thanks to everyone that participated in observing and IDing our 22,000 observations. It is clear that Houston is home to a dedicated and talented group of naturalists!

More information at

The second link shows that for greater Houston, 3 of the top 6 observers are HNPAT members!

2018 Spring Prairie Day & City Nature Challenge Event

Please join us to celebrate Spring Prairie Day on Saturday, April 28 at Deer Park Prairie. Enjoy the spring wildflowers and prairie wildlife along with a bit of history and photography. Because the Deer Park Prairie has never been plowed, the landscape here looks much as it did in 1836, when the soldiers marched to the Battle of San Jacinto, less than 10 miles away. See schedule in the flyer and scroll down for City Nature Challenge information. If you plan to enjoy a complimentary lunch with us, please RSVP, so we can have a food count.

In an effort to help Houston win the City Nature Challenge (https://houstonprairie.org/2017houcnc/ & https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/wild/wildlife_diversity/texas_nature_trackers/naturechallenge/), we will be offering a short lesson on use of iNaturalist and will have plant walks and insect sweep netting. Bring your camera or smart phone to take pictures of all the species of plants and animals that you see and post on iNaturalist.org

Image

Della Barbato, Director of Education

Della Barbato at NPAT booth on April 22, 2018 at Houston’s Earth Day Celebration

Meet Della Barbato, Native Prairies Association of Texas’ (NPAT’s) new Director of Education at the Lawther – Deer Park Prairie Preserve. This position was generously funded by a grant from Shell. Della ” …will develop an educational program: train teachers to teach the prairie and facilitate a partnership with local school districts, businesses and other NGO’s…”

Della, a past board member of the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition, represented NPAT at CEC’s Earth Day Houston -Discovery Green Celebration recently. She drew a steady crowd with her seed ball making activity. Della commented that both young and old like to get their hands dirty.

Della has been involved in environmental education for many years. She has her own company, Earth Voice that conducts interactive group programs about our ecosystems and managing natural resources. She has a B.S. and M.S. from Texas A&M, is a Galveston Bay Area Master Naturalist, has developed curriculum as a middle school science teacher, was Education Director for the Galveston Bay Foundation and other non-profits. Thanks to Shell’s generosity, Della as DPP’s Director of Education will tremendously benefit local area teachers and their students.

UP Team: September 2017. Aug to early Sep photos & Upcoming Activities

Scroll down for upcoming activities
 
Sorry for the late enewsletter. I hope all of you were safe and dry during Hurricane Harvey. My home fortunately did not flood.
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I hope you all were checking the UP Team calendar (tinyurl.com/UPTeamCal). Even though an UP Team email was not sent out, the events are on the calendar.  Click on the event and then the “more details” to show all details, including meeting place and parking specifics.
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All events have at least one contact person. If you are planning to attend an event and RSVP’ed to the contact person, that person will let you know of any changes.
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UP (Urban Prairie) Team Photos August- mid-September

(Anyone wanting original sizes of these photos, email Lan.shen@txgcmn.org.)
Seed Collecting Day at Deer Park Prairie, August 9, 2017.  Martha Richeson brought her granddaughter, 12 years old Natalie, who discovered a plant that had not been seen before at DPP.  It was not on the Deer Park Prairie plant checklist. Martha took a photo and posted it on iNaturalist. She wrote me, ‘”ID of this plant at DPP with seedpods was Arrowhead Rattlepods Crotalaria sagitallis according to ‘sambiology’ ”  Way to go Natalie!

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Seed Collecting Day with Memorial Park Conservancy, August 17. Because Memorial Park Conservancy’s Anthony Todd drove us in a Kubota, we saw the entire length of the NE Quadrant of the Memorial Park prairie along the power line. Away from Memorial Drive were areas with Liatris sp.

 

UP Team Workday at Deer Park Prairie, September 13. Seven volunteers came to collect seeds at Deer Park Prairie: Tom Solomon, Rowena McDermid of UH Clear Lake and her graduate student Descis, Kelli Ondracek, TJ Marks, and Cassidy of Houston Park & Recreation Dept.,  and Kelli’s husband Cullen, who works for the City of Pearland. The Liatris pycnostachya were blooming beautifully and we all got to see a just emerged cicada that was hanging on the front door jam of the house.

 

UP Team Workday at MD Anderson Prairie, September 15. The team: Irmy and her mother Hildy, Frances (Jaime’s landlady from before he was married), Craig, and Wally Ward (Katy Prairie Conservancy’s board member) worked on the area of the pocket prairie by the power station. They trimmed back the woodies, dug out Vesey grass, and plant sprigs of eastern gama grass. Wally worked so hard that he literally lost his sole.

*****Upcoming Activities*****

Events mid-September, October 2017

Details of all events are on our calendar  tinyurl.com/UPTeamCal.  Check the calendar for location, time, contact information, and other details.
  • Thursday, September 21 (3rd Thursdays): Seed Collecting with Memorial Park Conservancy)
  • Saturday, September 23 (4th Saturdays): Deer Park Prairie Workday
  • Saturday, September 23 (4th Saturdays): Hermann Park, Bayou Savannah Workday (near 6520 Almeda)
  • Thursday, September 28 (4th Thursdays): Native (and mostly prairie) plant propagation at City of Houston Greenhouse in Memorial Park
  • Saturday, September 30: Houston – Native Prairies Association of Texas’ Fall Prairie Day and Bioblitz at Deer Park Prairie (new). Information and registration link at HoustonPrairie.org. Please register, if you would like to join for lunch. Volunteers are needed to participate in the bioblitz and/or to man stations for visitors. 9:00 to 2:00 pm with bird survey at 7:30 am.
Save these future dates:
  • Thursday, October 5 (1st Thursdays): Memorial Park Conservancy Greenhouse Workday (new)
  • Wednesday, October 11 (2nd Wednesdays): Deer Park Prairie Workday & Seed Collecting Day
  • Thursday, October 12 (2nd Thursdays): Native (and mostly prairie) plant propagation at City of Houston Greenhouse in Memorial Park
  • Saturday, October 14: HPARD’s Natural Resources Management Program – Hobart Taylor Park Prairie Planting Event (new), 8100 Kenton St., 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • Saturday, October 14 (2nd Saturdays): Hermann Park, Whistlestop Prairie Workday (near Japanese Garden)
  • Monday, October 16, 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm – Willow Waterhole Demonstration Native Plant Gardens
  • Thursday, October 19 (3rd Thursdays): Memorial Park Conservancy Greenhouse Workday
  • Saturday, October 21, HPARD’s Natural Resources Management Program – Stuart Park Prairie Planting Event (new), 7270 Bellfort St., 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • Thursday, October 26 (4th Thursdays): Native (and mostly prairie) plant propagation at City of Houston Greenhouse at Memorial Park
  • Saturday, October 28, HPARD’s Natural Resources Management Program – Clinton Park Prairie Planting Event (new), 200 Mississippi St., 9:00 am to 12:00 pm
  • Saturday, October 28 (4th Saturdays): Deer Park Prairie Workday
  • Saturday, October 28 (4th Saturdays): Hermann Park, Bayou Savannah Workday (near 6520 Almeda)
General workday attire/needs: long pants and closed toe shoes. Optional: hat, sunscreen, long-sleeved shirt, insect repellent, water. If you have them bring some garden tools like garden gloves, trowel and/or shovel.

Reminder: Invasive Species ID + Field Application (Sat, 6/24) & Butterfly ID Class (corrected – Thur 6/29)

Just a few more spaces left for this Saturday’s (6/24) Invasive Species ID Class and Field Application (9:00 am – noon) to be taught at Deer Park Prairie (DPP) by Glenn Merkord, essentially DPP’s volunteer “Land Manager”. This workshop will be a great primer on invasive species of the coastal prairie and will provide hands-on demonstrations of how to control these noxious weeds. $15 class fee includes materials and lunch. Class rated for novices. Click here for more information and registration.

Come and see the wildflowers in bloom at Deer Park Prairie and how non-native invasives are being controlled to ensure continued abundance of our native prairie wildflowers.

        

More spaces are also open for next Thursday’s Prairie Butterfly ID Class (6/29, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm) . Wally Ward, member of Butterfly Enthusiasts of Southeast Texas (B.E.S.T.), as well as Katy Prairie Conservancy Board Member and President of Native Plant Society of Texas – Houston will give an overview of local prairie butterflies and their identification at Trini Mendenhall Community Center in Spring Branch. Class rated for novices.  Click here for more information and registration.

Class participants are encouraged to practice their new knowledge and join Wally on a local butterfly field trip on Saturday, July 8th, 10 a.m. – noon at Katy Prairie Conservancy’s Indian Grass Preserve. For more information and registration for the field trip, Click here.  Note: due to unexpected problems, previous offer for a field trip on July 1st has been cancelled.

Breaking News – Deer Park Prairie!

Announced at the May 24th HNPAT meeting by Pat Merkord, Executive Director of NPAT: Shell Deer Park Manufacturing Complex just awarded Native Prairies Association of Texas (NPAT), owner of the Lawther – Deer Park Prairie Preserve (DPP), a grant for an educator position as well as funding for teaching materials. This achievement resulted from the hard work Pat and NPAT President, Barbara Willy, did in putting together the project proposal.

In early 2016, the Deer Park City Council granted NPAT a specific use permit to allow groups of up to 30 students onto the prairie, provided, among other conditions, that two ADA (American with Disability Act) approved bathrooms for each sex is available at the site. According to Pat, before conditions for the specific use permit are met, plans are for the educator to bring prairie lessons to classrooms in local schools and establish a working relationship with local school district teachers. Meanwhile Pat is meeting with architects regarding building the required facilities.

Pat also announced that the Deer Park Chamber of Commerce has indicated that it is interested in supporting the building project. NPAT appreciates community support from both Shell and the Chamber of Commerce to enable local children and youth to learn about our natural and cultural heritage on this platinum quality remnant of the nature that was once here.

We hope that our supporters will donate to help NPAT maintain Deer Park Prairie and to this new endeavor to bring school groups onto the prairie. (Read a past blog about funds and volunteers needed to maintain the prairie.) Donations for NPAT and for Deer Park Prairie are taken at this webpage. Non-directed donations will go toward very much needed support for staff and overhead, the non-glamorous part which often unfortunately does not get funded by grants . Should you wish to  specifically earmarked your donations for Deer Park Prairie, add “For use at Deer Park Prairie” in the comment section. When the fundraising for the required building facilities commence, we will post that information in a future blog. A heartfelt thank you to all our donors, volunteers, and supporters!

Invasives (6/24) – Butterflies (6/29) – Films (8/23)

Coastal Prairie Partnership & Houston Native Prairies Association of Texas are offering a summer of Invasive ID & Control, Butterflies, and Films. Details in the flyer below.

Invasive ID & Control: Saturday, June 24, 2017 by Glenn Merkord at DeerPark Prairie. Register Now.

Butterfly ID: Thursday, June 29, 2017 6:00 pm by Wally Ward (Click here to register for the class ).

Class participants are encouraged to practice their new knowledge and join Wally on a local butterfly field trip on Saturday, July 8th, 10 a.m. – noon at Katy Prairie Conservancy’s Indian Grass Preserve. For more information and registration for the field trip, Click here.  Note: due to unexpected problems, previous offer for a field trip on July 1st has been cancelled.

Register

Local Wildlife & Conservation Short Film Screening: HNPAT’S August 23rd Meeting at Cherie Flores Pavilion, 6:30 pm, refreshment; 7:00 pm program begins. Register for film screening.