Upcoming Prairie Events

Check out all the upcoming prairie events

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


Click photo below to get flyer in pdf form



To read the blog, click here.

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

Email of May 22, 2015

5/23 Workday rescheduled to Saturday, 5/30. Bird survey, still 7:30, 5/23. Scott Barnes, landscape designer is speaker at 5/27 meeting, 6:30p. HNPAT updates and news will be in another email to be sent in a couple of days.
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Join us or Donate

Tomorrow’s (5/23) Workday is Rescheduled to Saturday, 5/30
Bird Survey with Damien Carey will still be at 7:30 a.m. TOMORROW, 5/23

Workday on Saturday, May 30 will be at the regular time of 9:00 am – noon. The prairie will also be open to visitors at that time. Contact: Glenn Merkord 1-936-827-7978.

Bird survey will still take place on 5/23 at 7:30 a.m.

Deer Park Prairie: 1222 E. Purdue Lane 77536. Please wear closed-toe shoes and long pants. Recommended are long sleeved shirt, hat, sunscreen, insect repellent, water.

HNPAT Meeting – Wednesday, May 27

Using ‘Ecological Landscape Design’ to Create Small-scale Prairies

by Scott Barnes, Landscape Designer

Scott Barnes, Landscape Designer and owner of his own company,Applied Habitats, ​specializes in restoring native plant communities including prairies in urban (City of Houston Permit Building, Green Roof Design and Installation) and rural (George Ranch, Fort Bend County) areas.Scott will be defining and explaining the importance of the guiding principle that he uses for his projects – Ecological Landscape Design. He will explain how to use the science of ecology and design – as separate but equal bases – for selecting and assembling plant populations and plant communities so that the human and ecological criteria will be met.

Scott will also provide practical “how-to’s” of putting in small-scale prairies or prairie gardens.

HNPAT meetings are held
at the new Cherie Flores Pavilion in
McGovern Centennial Gardens @ Hermann Park.
1500 Hermann Drive, Houston 77004
(parking lot entrance is directly across the street from the Health Museum)
Approximate GPS location: https://goo.gl/maps/j8msQ (note google maps has not been correctly updated.).
Please join us at 6:30 p.m. for refreshments; presentation at 7:00 p.m.

Upcoming Speakers

Wednesday, June 24, 2015 – talk about the Wildlife Habitat Federation byprobably Jim Willis.  See HNPAT blog “Wildlife Habitat Federation & Audio of Bob White Quail Calls” for more information about Jim and this topic.Wednesday, July 22, 2015 – A Texas Park & Wildlife Department Intern will talk about his summer research on fauna surveys of Deer Park Prairie, including information from the frog logger that was installed by Kelly Norrid & Diana Foss on January 28, 2015 (see video – start watching the video at the 2 minute mark.).

Kill A Fire Ant – Save A Prairie Chicken

Campaign lasts through the month of May.

Help save the​ extremely endangered Attwater’s Prairie Chicken, unique to Texas & Louisiana, by donating to kill red imported fire ants, which are out-competing the prairie chicken for the available food – the insects. A very worthy cause! Go to the website crowdrise.com/SaveOurChickenS to read about the problem and possible solution.

NEW Location for HNPAT Meetings – Start April 22

680x400_cherie_flores_pavilion-680x400New location!
Starting with the April 22, 2015 meeting
1500 Hermann Dr. 77004
Enter parking lot from Hermann Dr.
across the street from the Health Museum

Although the March 25th HNPAT meeting will still be at 3015 Richmond Ave. 77098, starting with the Wednesday, April 22 meeting, we will be at the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion in the new McGovern Centennial Gardens in Hermann Park. Enter the parking lot from Hermann Dr., just across the street from the Health Museum.

Approximate GPS location: https://goo.gl/maps/j8msQ (note google maps has not been correctly updated.).

More on Monarchs – Talk Recorded – Google Group – etc.

Barbara Keller Willy speaking on "Milkweed A Dinner For Butterfly Royalty" at HNPAT meeting, February 25, 2015

Barbara Keller Willy speaking on “Milkweed A Dinner For Butterfly Royalty” at HNPAT meeting, February 25, 2015

Thanks to Barbara Keller Willy for a very enlightening talk at our February meeting, which set a record for attendance!

Upon the suggestion of Wally Ward, who could not make the meeting, Jaime Gonzalez of Coastal Prairie Partnership & Katy Prairie Conservancy recorded the talk and the slides.  View at links below:

Jaime also set up a google group: Monarch Butterfly Exchange – Greater Houston for discussions concerning local milkweeds and monarchs. Email Jaime at prairiepartner@gmail.com for invitation to join. Also available from Jaime is access to a google drive with Monarch related documents.

Don’t miss Malcolm Vidrine’s talk on Monarchs at the Native Plant Society of Texas – Houston Chapter meeting on April 16, 2015!

“Growing Milkweed Dinners for Monarchs” @ HNPAT Meeting, Feb. 25 (Wed), Speaker: Barbara Keller-Willy

Native Milkweed at Deer Park Prairie by Kelly Walker

Lots of links in this blog, but follow them all to get great information about native milkweeds!

“Growing Milkweed Dinners for Monarchs, Native Prairie Milkweeds” will be the subject of Barbara Keller-Willy‘s talk at the February meeting of Houston-NPAT. Barbara is NPAT & HNPAT board member, member of Coastal Prairie Texas Master Naturalist, Brazos Bend State Park Volunteer, and first vice-president of the Sugar Land Garden Club.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Meeting at 3015 Richmond Avenue, 1st floor
(parking lot entrance on Eastside)
6:30 p.m. – Refreshment; 7:00 p.m. Program Begins

Barbara has her own greenhouse and grows many native milkweeds and will be bringing some for door prizes at the meeting. She also has installed several monarch way stations, two of which she donated last year for the Prairie Celebration silent auction.

She wrote a Spotlight article for Brenda Beust Smith’s Lazy Gardener & Friends Houston Garden Newsletter. Click here for her article (or http://tinyurl.com/ommb5mc).

Join us and learn about Monarchs & Milkweeds from Barbara!

More information concerning growing native milkweeds, especially Asclepias tuberosa are below:

  • Barbara in an email dated April 9, 2014 wrote this about growing native milkweed from seed:
    Attached [click link], please find my recommended method of growing native milkweeds.  It has resulted in 75% plus germination rate.  Of the seed pods I myself examine for readiness, I have closer to a 90% germination rate. I’m going to share with everybody but wish to be credited when it used. I’m currently working with a professor to publish a paper on this subject.  My research has included measuring temperature, soil, stem growth, % of shade, watering etc. so it is fact based and replicated.
  • Sent by Doris Heard are two wonderful articles in the Spring, 2014 Cajun Prairie Habitat Preservation Society. The first has photos of many native milkweeds. In the second, Professor (retired) Malcolm Vidrine gives his method of germinating and growing native milkweeds, especially Asclepias tuberosa. Malcolm Vidrine will speak on Monarchs and Milkweeds at the Native Plant Society of Texas Houston Chapter meeting on April 16, 2015 at Houston Arboretum & Nature Center, 7:00 p.m. for refreshments & 7:30 p.m. for program.
  • Sent by Michael Eckenfels are the following links:


Birding at Deer Park Prairie: January 28 HNPAT Meeting at Deer Park Prairie

Wednesday, January 28, 2015
HNPAT Meeting
Birding at Deer Park Prairie:
A Look at Birds that Utilize a Coastal Prairie Remnant

6:30 p.m. (Refreshment); 7:00 p.m. (Meeting starts)
At the House on Deer Park Prairie, 1222 E. Purdue Lane, Deer Park 77536

Presented by:
Damien Carey – Birding Expert who has been doing bird surveys at DPP since 2013
Pat Merkord – NPAT Executive Director, Birder and Organizer of DPP Birding Surveys

Find out how birds rely on and utilize Lawther Deer Park Prairie throughout the year and why this rare remnant prairie is so significant to coastal bird populations including neotropical migrants, grassland species, winter & summer residents and breeding birds.

Note: The meeting will be at Deer Park Prairie because the conference room at 3015 Richmond Ave. is unavailable that day.
For carpooling from Meyerland (near the Starbucks & Becks Prime), contact Lan at HNPAT@TexasPrairie.org . Probable meeting time is 5:30 p.m.

Join Damien Carey for a morning of bird surveying and/or Glenn Merkord for workday on Saturday, January 24.  Bird survey starts at 7:30 a.m.; workday is 9:00 a.m. – noon.  1222 E. Purdue Lane, 77536. Contact HNPAT@TexasPrairie.org.  Your information will be forwarded to either Damien or Glenn.


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!

Copyright © 2014 Native Prairies Association of Texas, All rights reserved.
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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/