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.

At UH’s Shasta Prairie on March 23

On March 23, 2018, a group of enthusiastic University of Houston students spruced up the UH Shasta Prairie, a part of the Katy Prairie Conservancy’s Prairie Builders Schools + Parks Program . The students weeded, cut back and pulled out winter’s dead plant material, added seeds, and planted ten new plants purchased from Houston Audubon’s Natives Nursery  at their Edith L. Moore Sanctuary near Memorial Dr. and West Beltway 8. Funds for the purchase came from UH’s Grassroots for Change (Crowdrise) Fund which was raised a couple of years ago.

Anyone wanting to view the prairie, it is near the Science & Research 2 building on Cullen Blvd (gps coordinates 29.7242, -95.3450). Look for the explanatory sign.


Seed Cleaning & Packing Pizza Party – January 25 @ HNPAT Meeting

Seed Cleaning & Packing Pizza Party

Help us kick off the Great Grow Out of 2017!

Katy Prairie Conservancy (KPC) and the Houston Chapter of the img_0260Native Prairies Association of Texas (HNPAT) are teaming up to host a seed cleaning & packing party at the January 25th HNPAT monthly meeting. Learn about prairie plants and how to clean seeds from KPC experts.  Prairie plant seeds collected from the wild last fall will be packed into envelopes to be distributed to KPC’s Great Grow Out (KatyPrairie.org/GGO) participants.

Information about the Great Growout will be available at the meeting. Seed packers are encouraged to take some seeds home and participate!

Come & eat, make some new friends, support KPC and HNPAT, and pack some seeds! Flyer at this link.

Cost: Free. Refreshments provided. Please register, so we can have a headcount for the food.

Register Here

Some of the species for this year’s Great Grow Out are:



Wednesday January 25, 2017 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM
Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion in Hermann Park
1500 Hermann Dr., Houston, TX 77004     Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/tQAdqzp1C6m
Please note, the entrance to the parking lot is at the corner of Hermann Dr. & Crawford St. and not inside the park, as some online map indicates.


Lan Shen
The Katy Prairie Conservancy & Houston Chapter – Native Prairies Association of TX
713-523-6135 or 713-714-6763 or shen.gcmn@gmail.com

Mini Horned Lizard Bioblitz!! 6/17 & 6/19


Dr. Cassidy Johnson, President of Coastal Prairie Partnership and faculty at Houston Community College, is also head of a project to bring the horned lizard back onto Katy Prairie Conservancy land. (See video of her talk last fall.)

She recently sent an email about an upcoming survey in conjunction with this project. That email is posted below.

Hi all,

I am reaching out to you because you have previously expressed interest in helping out with Texas Horned Lizard surveys at the Katy Prairie Conservancy.

Our first round of survey dates are the following:

Friday June 17th, ~6:30PM to dusk
Sunday June 19th, 8AM to 11AM (or to noon if the heat doesn’t do us in)

I apologize if this is late notice for many of you, but the rain and wet conditions have made scheduling a little complicated so far.  I would like to set up another survey attempt in July to give folks more time to schedule. KPC will also be hosting a big bioblitz in October (details TBA – I will keep you posted).

For this first round of surveying, we will be visiting 2-3 sites at the Warren Ranch. We will principally be looking for herps; however, I would also like to document plants, birds,mammals, and even insects if we have experts in these organisms. I am hoping to not only do a thorough study for the presence/absence of horned lizards, but also compile a comprehensive data set of plant and animals species found at the Warren Ranch for KPC. This data will be useful for KPC’s future conservation endeavors as they continue to do battle with Harris County (which even in the wake of all the flooding, is still trying to build roads through the Katy Prairie).

If you are interested in participating, please do the following:
1) Email me if you are coming (I need to send you a waiver to sign) [send email to HNPAT@TexasPrairie.org and your email will be forewarded to Cassidy]
2) Let me know what day you are coming
3) Bring your smartphone [if you have one] (we will be using iNaturalist for some of the data collection)
4) Bring water/food/snacks (I will bring some to share)
5) Wear long pants, long sleeve shirt, boots (it may be wet), bring a hat, sunscreen, bug spray, and bring your snakehook (if you have one!)
6) Bring a good sense of humor! This is our first go-round of having multiple folks out, so there is going to be a lot of “errr…. okay, this isn’t working, so let’s try this!”
If you can’t participate this time but want to in the future, please do the following:

1) Let me know if you want to help in July or October
2) Let me know if you want to stay on this list for other updates

Thank you all so much for your patience as I get this initiative organized. Please email or call me if you have any questions or concerns.

Take care and let’s explore the prairie!




Grassroots for Change

http://www.crowdrise.com/grassrootsforchange:   HELP BUILD MONARCH-FRIENDLY PRAIRIES ON HOUSTON COLLEGE CAMPUSES


“…The Grassroots for Change Challenge is a friendly competition aimed at raising funds to transform parts of Rice University, University of Houston, and the University of St. Thomas into vibrant pocket prairies. These pocket prairies will provide great habitat for pollinators (like monarch butterflies and native bees), provide a living laboratory for student research, and give campus visitors, students, and faculty a better sense of Houston and its rich history.”

Go to that webpage, view the video, and scroll down to the bottom to see the status of the challenge: “We are challenging (as a friendly competition) each school’s alumni, students, professors, and supporters to help raise the funds needed to create these new pocket prairies…”

Prairie Month Event Photos

Below are photos from some of the Prairie Month Events:

October 11, 2014: Bioblitz at Katy Prairie Conservancy’s Indian Grass Preserve.

We saw damselfly, green frog, two snakes, many plants native and non-native, plus the nursery behind the field office, where prairie plants for restoration are raised and volunteers work on Tuesdays. KPC is in the process of restoring Indian Grass Preserve with Boys Scouts’ planting prairie plants from gallon pots on November 15 and seeding of the prairie in January.  More bioblitz photos.


October 16, 2014: Restoration Roundup at the Rosenberg Civic Center & Seabourne Creek Park.

Videos of most morning talks are posted at the Coastal Prairie Partner’s website (prairiepartner.org).

Lisa Gray was presented the Dick Benoit Upper Texas Coast Prairie Award for her series of articles last year on Deer Park Prairie, articles that were one of the elements instrumental in saving the prairie.

Afternoon demonstrations were held at the Seabourne Creek Park Prairie. Chip Davis brought the burn box that he made for Harris County Flood Control. Jim Willis brought equipment appropriate for small pocket prairie restorations. More Restoration Roundup photos.


October 20, 2014:  Seed Collecting at the Nature Conservancy’s Nash Prairie. 


November 8, 2014: Prairie Pandemonium at Sheldon Lake State Park.

Thanks to Jerry Hamby for these photos:

Prairie Pandemonium Jerry Hamby IMG_9361

Thanks to all participants of Prairie Month.

Friday, 8/1: See KPC’s Rarely Visited Tucker Easement & Seed Collect with Jaime & Lan


Friday, 8/1: See KPC’s Rarely Visited Tucker Easement & 
Seed Collect with Jaime & Lan
Eastern gamagrass is ready to collect after the male flowers have fallen off.
Hi Seed Collectors,
Please join Jaime & Lan to seed collect at an exceptional quality prairie protected by Katy Prairie Conservancy – the rarely visited Tucker Easement Tract. This is a sandy prairie, different from many of the clay prairies around Houston.
  • Friday, August 1
  • 8:30 AM – 11:00 AM
  • Meet at the KPC field office.

Some seeds that we might collect are Eastern gamagrass, knotroot bristlegrass (or this photo), prickly poppy, and maybe silver bluestem.

Also in seed now that we might be looking for are scribner’s rosette and Virginia wildrye.
Please RSVP to HNPAT@TexasPrairie.org and send your cell phone number.  Anyone interested in carpooling, contact HNPAT@TexasPrairie.org; we will be happy to coordinate. More about the seed collecting project at http://prairiepartner.org/group/prairie-seed-council-of-texas.
Participants should wear appropriate outdoor clothing, including closed-toe shoes and long pants.  Recommended are long-sleeve shirt, hat, sunscreen, insect repellent. Please bring scissors or clippers and drinking water, plus binoculars and camera, if you wish.
In this album are photos of some of the species that might be ripe now and photos of how to collect Eastern gamagrass.
Hope to see you on the prairie next Friday,


Come and help us collect prairie seeds, experience the prairie, help restoration efforts and also take some seeds home for your own garden. 

Please send comments about your seed collecting trips to share with other prairie enthusiasts.  Be sure to post photos of seed collecting trips at the CPP website: www.prairiepartner.org  and send me a link.  Or if you prefer, send Lan (Lan.Shen@txgcmn.org) the photos and I will post them and credit the photos to you.

Information about this project, the individual teams, the seeds that we are collecting and when they would be ripe are online at www.prairieseedco.org.   

For seed envelopes, either email me or come by Katy Prairie Conservancy Office at 3015 Richmond Avenue, Suite 230 Houston, TX 77098-3114 or phone 713.523.6135.  
The Katy Prairie Conservancy | 3015 Richmond Avenue, Suite 230 | Houston | TX |77098-3114