TODAY thru Sat, 4/22: Three UP (Urban Prairie)Team Opportunities

THIS AFTERNOON, 4/20, at Carnegie Vanguard HS: 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
1501 Taft St, Houston, TX 77019, google map of school (713) 732-3690
We will be planting and seeding the Cargnegie Vanguard High School’s roof prairie garden along with teacher Jaime Scott and her students. If the parking lot is full of parents picking up their children at 3:00 pm, park on the neighborhood streets. RSVP to by 2:00 pm today to get my cell phone number.

Saturday, April 22, St. Thomas University, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm.
Address of the Father Meyers Pocket Prairie is 4106 Graustark, 77006. Google map link:
Help university students and Dr. Shivas Amin plant the Father Meyers Pocket Prairie, rain or shine unless there is a safety issue. Rain is predicted for part of Saturday morning, so please dress accordingly. Event day contact is Dr. Cassidy Johnson at 832-746-7584. Free street parking is available, but do abide by the “no parking” signs. There is also a parking garage on Graustark for $5 fee. Above is the new sign to be installed shortly.

Saturday, April 22, Deer Park Prairie, 9:00 am – noon

Help maintain this platinum quality prairie by invasive control and weeding the demonstration garden. Someone will be at t1222 E. Purdue Lane, Deer Park, 77536. Please do not park directly in front of our neighbors’ houses. Please park in front of our house and along that side of the street or in the driveway. Please RSVP to by 6:30 am, 4/22, for event day contact phone number.

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.

City Nature Challenge:
Houston is ahead in number of species! But Dallas got us beat by number of people posting and number of observations. However, photos taken with date stamp in the time period can be posted up to either Friday, April 21 or Saturday, April 22 and winners will be announced on Saturday, April 22 at noon. More information will be posted this afternoon (2/20) at the blog (right-hand column) at

If you are not an UP (Urban Prairie) Team member, please join our team of volunteers interested in helping at urban pocket prairies and/or to communicate about prairies. See UP Team information and a flyer at this link. Click the buttom below to get monthly emails on Urban Prairies activities that need your help!

ExxonMobil Team Grant @ Deer Park Prairie Workday 1-28-17

ExxonMobil Team (l-r) Bruce Senior (spouse), Lauren Blanton (retired), Lynne Hoefer (retired), Allen Potvin (retired), Hazel Potvin (spouse)

These five retired ExxonMobil employees and ExxonMobil spouses volunteered at least four hours each at the Lawther – Deer Park Prairie Preserve (DPP) on January 28, 2017 to earned a $500 ExxonMobil Team grant for HNPAT.  Hazel Potvin with HNPAT board’s approval will use the money to purchase much needed tools for DPP workdays.

That day, a total of fourteen volunteers continued removing branches and smaller diameter woody shrubs and tallows that had been cut recently by a professional crew and left on the prairie for us to clear away. The excessive woody plants and rains last year had prevented mowing / haying of the prairie. (See  previous blog for explanation). Also volunteering, in addition to the ExxonMobil team, were our workday leader Glenn Merkord and regular volunteers: Ian and Barbara Kress, major donors to DPP, Chuck Duplant, Charlie Lindquist on the mower, Frank Orht, Kelly Shield, and Lan Shen plus Becky Martinez, of Bayou Land Conservancy, and her two daughters. (Continued below the photos.)

The branches were moved to the NW corner of the property, where they form a nice brush pile for wildlife. As shown in the above photo, Chuck is in the process of turning our gazebo into a greenhouse around the growout table on long-term loan from Katy Prairie Conservancy.

At noon, we had chili and fixings for lunch provided by Hazel Potvin.  Thank you Hazel!

Earlier that day, Damien Carey and his wife Caroline did the monthly bird survey. When asked what less common birds they saw, Damien replied that they saw grasshopper and LeConte sparrows, other unidentified Ammodramuses, and woodcock (near tree motts). These birds are indicators of a healthy ecosystem.

Insect List @ Deer Park Prairie by Chuck Duplant

The insect list for Deer Park Prairie compiled by Chuck Duplant is online now: 170228-l-dpp-insect-list-2_2017.

Check out Chuck’s wonderful photos of insects and wildflowers at Deer Park Prairie. Go to the album section of HNPAT’s Flickr photos ( and select the album “by Chuck Duplant”. Enjoy!chuckduplantflickralbum



Reminder: THIS Weekend is Bioblitz at Deer Park Prairie

Join us to catalog and view the flora and fauna of Deer Park Prairie!

Pat Merkord, Executive Director of NPAT, will be leading this event. See flyer on our home page for the entire weekend’s program on Saturday, 10/22 & Sunday, 10/23.

Early Fall Seed Collecting Trips – 9/20 to 11/9



Time 9:00 am – ~11:30 am
Dates & Locations:

No experience is necessary.  Collectors are very welcome to take some seeds home to grow or share with friends! Register here.

This fall, by volunteering to collect seeds, you will have opportunities to visit prairies or areas usually only open by appointment. We invite you to register, using the link below.  Please join Lan Shen and enjoy mornings on the prairie, while collecting seeds of native prairie plants for the Coastal Prairie Seed Increase Program and for use in restoration projects, in city pocket prairies, and in the Great Grow Out.

Registration required, so that we may notify you in case of cancellation due to inclement weather. Please click on this link to register

Agenda for ALL Tx Prairie Enthusiasts: Bus to Tx-Cajun Prairie Symposium 9/24-25

Should be fun, join us on the bus:


Link to Agenda *** Link to Registration, Cost, Hotel info *** Link to Sponsorship Letter ***
Scroll down for special offer to NPAT members

Join us on the bus, when Texas prairie enthusiasts travel from Houston (tentatively from Rice University) by bus (where we have a chance to socialize and network with each other) to the USGS’ Wetland and Acquatic Research Center in Lafayette, La. There we will meet with prairie enthusiasts of the Cajun Prairie Habitat Preservation Society and have an afternoon of informative presentations (see agenda).

Following that will be an evening Cajun Party and Fais-do-do!

On Sunday, there will be a tours of the Eunice Cajun Prairie and the Duralde Prairie followed by lunch and the bus ride back to Houston.

Note on hotel rooms in Lafayette: there are rooms with 2 queen size beds, so cost can be shared. Cutoff date for getting the reduced conference room rate is September 3, 2016

Offer: members (or new members) of Native Prairies Association of Texas (NPAT) from outside of Houston are invited to bring a sleeping bag and spend the night of Sept. 23 and/or Sept. 25 at the Deer Park Prairie house (there are some beds and lots of floor space; 1222 E. Purdue Lane 77536) or at Pat Merkord’s (Executive Director of NPAT) house in Conroe. Space limited. Reply to to reserve your space.

Register Now!


7/10/16: First NPAT Prairie Mapping Expedition in Harris County

To RSVP for this event: email or call 1-936-827-7973

NPAT's first prairie mapping expedition in Harris County. Participation in previous mapping classes/talks NOT a requirement.

NPAT’s first prairie mapping expedition in Harris County. Participation in previous mapping classes/talks NOT a requirement. Email or call 1-936-827-7973 to RSVP.

Insect Checklist by Chuck Duplant


Rambur’s Forktail male; photo by Chuck Duplant, 6/27/15


Just posted  –  an insect checklist by Chuck Duplant who wrote: “…Most of the insects are from what I have seen at the prairie and from photos from [Deer Park Prairie] Flicker site. My veting process is to ID them in guides and credited web sites such as OdonataCentral, BugGuide etc.

Some of the insects I have not been able to determine species due to several factors which is not uncommon…” 

Check out

Link to insect checklist:

Help HNPAT plan 2016

2016HNPAT border

HNPAT email of 12/16/15 was sent and can be viewed at this link. Most of the information is also on our home page.

We are asking for your help in planning and organizing HNPAT FOR 2016. Please indicate in the doodle poll all times that you will be available to meet and plan. Possible locations are Luby’s at Waugh, Luby’s at S. MacGregor, or Cleburne’s Cafeteria.