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

Maddin Update 12/2015 by Kirsti Harms


Read this blog and see more photos by Kirsti Harms, NPAT President, on NPAT’s largest property – Maddin Prairie – in Mitchell County.


HNPAT members Kelly Walker and Pauline Singleton and perhaps others have joined Pat Merkord, Executive Director of NPAT, on her work or survey trips to Maddin. Kirsti travels to Maddin from the Austin area.

Anyone who wishes to visit one of NPAT’s prairie, just email HNPAT@TexasPrairie.org and your email will be forwarded to the proper person. From the Houston area, most times when Pat Merkord visits a prairie, she will be glad to take people who wishes to accompany her.

Upcoming Prairie/Plant Events – compiled 150720

Tues, July 21: MD Anderson Prairie, 8:30 am – 10:30 am.  Workday to prune, to remove a few invasive species, and to treat for fire ants. Carpool from KPC office 3015 Richmond Ave., 77098, front parking lot – entrance on Eastside) at 8:10 am. Please RSVP, if possible, to Lan.shen@txgcmn.org

IMG_0659-smWed, July 22: Wildlife of Deer Park Prairie vs Sheldon Lake State Park’s Restored Prairie by TPWD Intern Pablo Pardo at Houston Chapter, Native Prairies Association of TX Meeting. 6:30 pm for refreshment, 7:00 pm, meeting starts. At the Cheries Flores Pavilion in Hermann Park’s Centennial Garden, 1500 Hermann Dr.. Parking lot is across the street from the Health Museum. More information: https://hnpat.wordpress.com/hnpat-activities/monthly-meetings/

Fri, July 24: National Moth Week Night at Deer Park Prairie. The Prairie will be open to visitors starting at 7:00 pm. for an evening walk. Sunset is at 8:20 pm. Katy Emde, our moth expert, will be setting up lights and screens to observe moths after dark. Event ends at 10:00 pm. 1222 E. Purdue Lane, Deer Park, 77536. Since the following morning is bird survey and workday, anyone wishing to camp in the house or in the back yard is welcome. RSVP to HNPAT@TexasPrairie.org is only necessary, if you wish to camp; campers must RSVP. Read about last year’s blog, “Silver Butt Beetle…” and more information about this event.

Sat, July 25:
Deer Park Prairie Bird Survey. 7:30 am.

Deer Park Prairie Seed Collecting with Jaime Gonzalez. 8:30 am – 10:00 am.  Rough coneflower is ready to collect and some Rosinweed.
Deer Park Prairie Workday. 9:00 am – noon. 
1222 E. Purdue Ln, 77536. Help build a viewing platform or set up a growout table, continued. No experience necessary. Contact: HNPAT@TexasPrairie.org or on workday: Glenn Merkord, 1-936-827-7978. Visitors’ information: https://hnpat.wordpress.com/visit-dpp/

Fri, July 31: NPSOT-H & GCMN Native Plant Garden @ Houston Zoo Workday: Meet at the front gate of the Zoo at 8:30 am. We will try to keep the work time short because of the heat. RSVP to HNPAT@TexasPrairie.org and your email will be forwarded to coordinator, Sally Hilliard, in case of changes

Wed, Aug 5: Environmental Educators’ Exchange meeting at Deer Park Prairie. 6:30-7:00 PM Networking and Refreshments; 7:00-7:45 PM Guided tour of Deer Park Prairie; 7:45-8:30 PM EEE Affairs and EEE Roundtable Forum, meeting ends. Non-members welcome. More information: click here.

Sat, Aug 8: Project Blazing Star.  9:00 am – noon, at Pavilion next to 6520 Almeda.  Plant or weed the pocket prairie at Hermann Park’s Bayou Savannah. http://goo.gl/maps/pLe08. Contact: Lan.shen@txgcmn.org.

Thur, Aug 13: GCMN- (native) Plant Propagation Program. (Gulf Coast Master Naturalist) 9:00 am – noon, at Pavilion next to 6520 Almeda http://goo.gl/maps/pLe08.  No experience necessary; anyone interested in working with/learning about native plants is welcome.  Contact: celestemead@hotmail.com or  Lan.shen@txgcmn.org

To Join the Prairie Seed Collection Team and get email announcements whenever we go collecting seeds, please email Lan.shen@txgcmn.org with words “Add me to the seed collection email list.”

Save the Dates: Both at Houston Zoo – Thank You Houston Zoo!!!

  • Saturday, September 19, Native Plant Society of Tx – Houston’s Wildscapes Workshop
  • Thursday – Saturday, November 12-14, Southern Plants & Prairie Conference sponsored by Native Prairie Association of TX & Coastal Prairie Partnership

LBJ National Grasslands in Decatur: Visit Prairies All Over TX with NPAT Chapters!

sm lbj ng

Pauline Singleton recently joined the Fort Worth NPAT Chapter to visit the Lyndon B. Johnson National Grassland in Decatur Texas.  Scroll down for her account and photos. (Top, l-r:Milkwort, LBJ National Grassland, Pineapple Cactus)

Recently I blogged about Visiting Prairies All Over Texas with NPAT. Pauline’s trip is a reminder that NPAT’s chapters, just like our Houston Chapter, often offers field trips open to the public also. To see their offerings, go to the chapter section of  the NPAT website: http://texasprairie.org and click the general information link for the desired chapter and look for link to their website or facebook page.

UPDATE: The status of NPAT/Sierra Club field trip rescheduled from May 16 to May 30 will be updated shortly due to weather conditions. Check our website for the updates.

Thanks to Pauline for sending her account of the visit:

There is so much of Texas that I’ve never seen, and lately I’ve had a yen to see some new places.  So, when the Fort Worth chapter of the Native Prairies Association of Texas announced a field trip to the Lyndon B. Johnson National Grassland (which I’ve never visited), I decided to go.

The weather was threatening, but the rain held off until afternoon, so we were able to have the field trip.  It was pleasantly cool for this time of year.  There were 5 of us, including trip leader Jeff Quayle.  We visited a unit of the LBJ NG that is just a few miles outside Decatur.  It is a beautiful rolling terrain, some of which is covered with trees, and some of which is open prairie—in other words, a savannah.

Small hills in the area are ancient reefs, dating back to the Cretaceous Period, more than 65 million years ago.  One finds fossils lying about, including oysters, gastropods and other shallow water marine species.

Today a variety of habitats exist, which makes the place a home for a wide variety of plants.  It was the prairie species we were there to see, and we were not disappointed.  All one had to do was step out of the car to begin seeing wonderful things.

If you wish to see a list of plants that can be seen here, go to the Fort Worth chapter’s web site, and you can find it, along with lists for quite a few other places.

The place is well worth the effort to visit.

More photos & Pauline’s captions for the photos are below:

Always one of the scene-stealers, wherever it occurs, is Penstemon cobeae.

Always one of the scene-stealers, wherever it occurs, is Penstemon cobeae. 

Butterflyweed, Asclepias tuberosa, is more common in North Texas than it is in the Houston area.  It always delights me come across a patch of these.  I've known for a long time that there is variation in their color.  Most are bright orange, but one sometimes finds yellow ones.  And this time, I found some very interesting specimens that combine orange and yellow/gold in the most unusual way.

Butterflyweed, Asclepias tuberosa, is more common in North Texas than it is in the Houston area. It always delights me come across a patch of these. I’ve known for a long time that there is variation in their color. Most are bright orange, but one sometimes finds yellow ones. And this time, I found some very interesting specimens that combine orange and yellow/gold in the most unusual way.

Captions for Pauline’s top two

plant photos:

L: Not one to catch your eye as you speed down the highway, the white milkwort, Polygala alba, is nevertheless a graceful, beautiful plant.  It was present in good numbers.

R: There were cacti in bloom, the most common being the prickly pear, but we also saw this interesting species.  It is the pineapple cactus, Corypantha sulcata.

This a bivalve of the genus Neithea--a common fossil in the Cretaceous limestones of Texas.

This a bivalve of the genus Neithea–a common fossil in the Cretaceous limestones of Texas.



W,10/22: **DPP Workday**; TH: Halloween Meeting @DPP; SAT: Trip to E. TX Prairies & Savannahs

TOMORROW – Wednesday, 10/22 – Tallow Removal Workday at Deer Park Prairie, 1222 E. Purdue Lane, 77536. 9am – noon.

The planned 4th Saturday workday at Deer Park Prairie has been rescheduled to Wednesday, 10/22 because of the field trip to East Texas Prairies & Savannahs on Saturday. Please join Ian Kress and Glenn Merkord on Wednesday for a morning of Chinese tallow removal. Many thanks to Ian, who whenever he is back in town, comes to DPP for a workday of tallow cutting.

Enjoy Doug Haass’ latest post:Prairie Dew


From the previous email – other events this week – scroll down for flyers & info OR click links below:

1.  Thursday 10/23 – Halloween meeting featuring animal skulls, TPWD bat detector (brought by TPWD’s Diana Foss), night walk with prairie ghost stories, prairie costume contest (optional) and much more. Location: At the prairie by the cemetery – Deer Park Prairie.

HNPAT - OCT mtg-2

2.  Saturday 10/25 – E. Texas Prairies & Savannahs, including Watson Rare & Native Plant Preserve & Marysee Prairie. Trip led by Brandt Mannchen of the Sierra Club – a joint field trip.

October Day at Watson Rare Native Plant Preserve in Warren, TX. Photo by Pauline Singleton.

October Day at Watson Rare Native Plant Preserve in Warren, TX. Photo by Pauline Singleton.

Marysee Prairie in Liberty County

Marysee Prairie in Liberty County

Rest of Prairie Month activities at http://prairiepartner.org/page/2014-prairie-month

Blaze and Graze and other upcoming events

NPAT email on October 3, 2014

Fall is a busy time for Texas prairies!
View this email in your browser
Pat Merkord speaks to chapters

Native Prairies Association of Texas

Invites you to…

2nd Annual Blaze and Graze:
A Prairie Celebration

Join us for tours and dinner!

When: Afternoon and evening of Saturday, November 8
Where: Mustang Creek Country Club, Taylor, TX
Cost: $50 per person (children 14 years and under are free)
Come to one or all events – cost covers all plus dinner
Proceeds support NPAT efforts to conserve and restore native prairies.

Prairie Tours:
Tours will run throughout the day at local prairie sites. Choose from birding, grass & forb identification, butterfly and insect surveys, a general prairie tour, local blackland prairie history and more. Check our website for updates and details.

Prairie Celebration Dinner:
Join NPAT at the Mustang Creek Country Club in Taylor for dinner, presentations on local blackland prairies and volunteer appreciation awards. A silent auction will feature prairie photography and other items.



October is Prairie Month!

The Blackland (Dallas) Chapter presents:

The Blackland (Dallas) NPAT chapter will host a presentation by author and prairie expert Matt White.

What: Blacklands NPAT chapter monthly meeting
When: Monday, October 6 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
Where: Dallas Academy, 950 Tiffany Way, Dallas, TX (west side of Lake Highlands and Buckner Blvd.) in the Cafeteria/Auditorium

“Our misunderstandings of the prairie is still evident in the way we use language to describe our experience there. When prairie enthusiasts speak to each other about visiting a native prairie we always describe ourselves as being on the prairie. But to know the prairie you have to go into it-the same way you would go into a forest. A healthy native prairie has height and structure and is thus three-dimensional, but to see this requires us to a look a little more carefully— to change our perspective and our way of thinking.” page 19 – Matt White, author of Prairie Time: A Blackland Portrait

Author and Blackland prairie expert, Matt White will speak. Copies of his books Prairie Time: A Blackland Portrait and The Birds of Northeast Texas will be available for purchase. Cash or check accepted.

Osage Moon Field Trip – November 15th, mid-day

Amy Martin and Scooter Smith invite you to explore Osage Moon, an hour northeast of Dallas in Fannin County near Bonham. Three small parcels—a 1930 family homestead, a 22-acre horse farm, and an abandoned parcel of woods—were combined into 75 acres of wildlife habitat reclamation with 6 miles of trails.

For 20 years we’ve fostered prairies and battled invasives such as cedar/juniper, lespedeza and KM bluestem. Sometimes successfully! Sometimes not. We’d enjoy showing you what we’ve learned and hope to learn much from you as well.

Discover how tallgrass prairie resurrection efforts in a former Bermuda pasture compare to prairie in an abandoned pasture taken over by cedar infestation. See how chemical agriculture in a former cotton field impacted prairie resurrection efforts. Learn about the Texas program of converting family farms and ranches to wildlife habitat while retaining the deeply discounted ag tax rate. About 1 mile of hiking.

For woods aficionados, take an optional additional 1.5 mile hike into Osage Moon’s Back Forty: 40 acres abandoned since the late 1800s and overgrown with invasive trees. See how thinning an overgrown cedar elm forest rejuvenated the understory. Understand the stages of cedar/juniper infestation, its devastation of groundcover and understory, and impact on erosion. Visit the Secret Grove, where seeps allow hardwoods to keep cedar at bay. Take the Funky Trunk crossing to the Moonrise Meadow, where removing cedars enabled KM bluestem to gain the upper hand.

Fans of sustainable building will appreciate Osage Moon’s passive solar, high efficiency, concrete home designed by Gary Olp. You are invited to share a potluck lunch before hiking and discuss efforts to turn Fannin County into a nature destination and waterfowl corridor.


The Houston Chapter presents:


Thursday, October 23 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
at Lawther – Deer Park Prairie Preserve

Location: 1222 E. Purdue Lane, Deer Park, TX 77536

Ghosts and Goblins (Friends of NPAT all!) are invited for a night of creepy critter snacks and a view the bone collection! Includes a prairie-themed Halloween costume contest. Come in a costume or dressed as you are. Prizes will be awarded to winners.
A presentation on haunted prairie cemeteries, ghosts, ghost towns and the strange creatures of the prairie will follow with a ghostly night walk across the prairie to the edge of the cemetery and back (hopefully!). Wear walking shoes, bring plenty of insect repellant and a flashlight or headlamp for the walk across the prairie. Parking is available at the church down the street or in front of the house.


Saturday, October 25

Join NPAT and the Houston Sierra Club on a field trip to several prairies and savannahs in the Big Thicket. We will first visit Marysee Prairie, which is the only native prairie in the Big Thicket that has been preserved. We will then visit Hickory Creek Savannah Unit of Big Thicket National Preserve to view a Longleaf Pine – Little Bluestem Savannah. Finally, we will visit the Watson Rare Native Plant Preserve to see a Wetland Pine Savannah.

For more details, go to http://texasprairie.org/index.php/news_and_events/

The Blackland Chapter presents:

, October 6 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

At the Dallas Academy, 950 Tiffany Way, (west side of Lake Highlands and Buckner Blvd.) in the Cafeteria/Auditorium
Author and Blackland prairie expert, Matt White will speak. Copies of his books Prairie Time: A Blackland Portrait and The Birds of Northeast Texas will be available for purchase. Cash or check accepted.

The Fort Worth Chapter presents:


Saturday, October 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
at Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT)

1700 University Drive, Fort Worth
Pat Merkord, Executive Director of Native Prairies Association of Texas will show how to acquire skills to recognize native remnant prairies in this hands on workshop that will train you to recognize indicator species, how to use the internet to locate potential prairie sites, how to record data and report it. Identification of major native prairie grasses and indicator forbs will be focused on with lots of specimens to work with. BRIT’s beautiful outdoor landscaping with native prairie plants will provide an outdoor opportunity to see live specimens and we will have lunch on the grounds, so please bring a sack lunch and walking shoes.
Cost of Workshop: $25 Members and $35 Non-Members, $10 Students (must bring student ID to the workshop)


Monday, October 13, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

at the Presbyterian Church at 8700 Chapin Road, Fort Worth, TX 76116
This meeting features a presentation by Don and Debra Young of Tandy Hills Natural Area. This is part of a series of presentations on the prairies of the Fort Worth area.


Saturday October 18th
Tandy Hills Natural Area

Location: 3400 View Street, Fort Worth 76103
Join the Fort Worth chapter for a hike at the 160 acre remnant of Fort Worth prairie. Details coming!

The Fort Worth NPAT Chapter Meeting:

When: August 11, 2014, 6:30 to 8:00 PM
Location: Westside Presbyterian Church,
8700 Chapin Road, Fort Worth, TX 76116

Join us for the second official meeting of the Fort Worth Chapter of Native Prairies Association of Texas.

At this meeting we will be deciding on programs and projects for the upcoming year. This will be a very important meeting to get the organization going.
There will also be a brief presentation on Conservation Easements.

In June, a meeting was held in Fort Worth to determine the desire to form a new Fort Worth NPAT chapter. The response was overwhelming with 45 attending the meeting.
A steering committee was formed to provide an agenda for the meeting and come up with proposals for the coming year.

Congratulations Fort Worth prairie enthusiasts and members on your efforts and support to protect our native prairie heritage!

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June, July 2014 Prairie Activities in Photos

This gallery contains 15 photos.

To view all photos, go to https://www.flickr.com/photos/hnpat To view list of albums, go to https://www.flickr.com/photos/hnpat/sets/ See links at bottom to individual albums. To view all photos, go to https://www.flickr.com/photos/hnpat To view list of albums, go to https://www.flickr.com/photos/hnpat/sets/ Individual albums include: Deer Park Prairie Sam … Continue reading


Th, 6/26″Flora of Deer Park Prairie” by TPWD botanist Jason Singhurst & 6/28 Wildflower Walk at DPP

Video: Jason Singhurst using a field press to preserve herbarium specimen of plants of Deer Park Prairie last October. This video is at http://youtu.be/4zLjE-wOsa0 (The explanation of what he is doing starts at ~1:30 minutes.) .

Thursday, ​June 26: “Flora of the Famous Cajun Prairie in Deer Park, Texas” by Jason Singhurst, author and Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Botanist. Jason has done extensive studies on the plants at Deer Park Prairie. Come early at 6:30 p.m. and bring your unknown native plants to be identified by a botanist extraordinaire. ​

Time: 6:30 p.​m​. Refreshments & Plant ID by Botanist Jason Singhurst; 7:00 p​.​m.​Meeting begins

Location: 3015 Richmond Ave., 77098, 1st Floor Conference room, Parking lot entrance on Eastside​ St.


Saturday, ​June 28: ​Wildflower & Native Grass Field ​T​rip to Deer Park Prairie.9:00 a.m.  ​Email HNPAT@TexasPrairie.org (or reply) to ​RSVP ​and get driving and parking instructions.  This trip may be lead by newly trained Meadowlarks.


Upcoming Meeting: Thursday, July 24 meeting: Night Flight: Prairie Moths & Other Night Insects” by Katy Emde followed by night time field trip to Deer Park Prairie to view the nocturnal insects. This meeting and the corresponding night field trip to Deer Park Prairie has been posted at http://NationalMothWeek.org/.

Saturday, July 26,  from 8:00 pm – 10:00 pm – Nighttime field trip to the stunning Deer Park Prairie looking for nocturnal insects including native moths led by Katy Emde. Registration for field trip is required. Register now.

See more upcoming meetings at https://hnpat.wordpress.com/hnpat-activities/monthly-meetings/