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Deer Park Prairie Mowed! Come on Thursday, 8/28/14 to Hear Why!

Deer Park Prairie was mowed with a brush-hog on August 11-12.  A ~7 acre section was left unmowed for visitors to see the late summer wildflowers and fall grasses in bloom. (Scroll down for photos.)

Come to the

HNPAT meeting
at Deer Park Prairie, 1222 E. Purdue Lane, 77536
this Thursday, 8/28/14,
6:30 p.m. for refreshments and 6:45 p.m. meeting starts
(15 minutes earlier than usual)

and learn from Pat Merkord, Executive Director of Native Prairies Association of Texas (NPAT) about how Deer Park Prairie will be managed and why mowed was critical to keep DPP a healthy prairie!

Walk with Pat as she explains the Management Plan and points out what mowing accomplishes. The 7 acres left unmowed provides opportunities for photographs. Thanks to the law student volunteers who did extensive removal of woody plants in this section, it was in good enough condition to be left unmowed for the time being.  After the walk, the meeting will move indoors for a surprise activity.

Come early, 4:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. to the open board meeting and help us plan next year, when we will discuss dividing HNPAT meetings between Houston, Deer Park, and Fort Bend County.

Below are photos of the prairie being mowed.  Videos will be uploaded shortly as soon as I figure out how to get it off my tablet and onto youtube. For more and larger resolution photos go in about a week (need to upload) to our Flickr site (http://www.flickr.com/photos/hnpat).

Map of the ~7 acres not mowed:

1408 - DPP left unmowed

Photos of Glenn Merkord & Phillip Quast marking off the unmowed area:

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Roping off no-mow area. August 11, 2014

Roping off no-mow area. August 11, 2014

Roping off no-mow area. August 11, 2014

All Done - Roping off no-mow area. August 11, 2014

All Done – Roping off no-mow area. August 11, 2014

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Photos of (a)Dan Shepherd, age 84 (father of Stormy Shepherd whom Glenn contracted to mow the prairie) mowing the Deer Park Prairie and (b)Glenn sweeping off the mower.

The brush-hog

The brush-hog

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Cooling the radiator

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Cleaning

Cleaning Bat-wing brush hog with compressed air

Dan Shepherd

Dan Shepherd

DPP mowed. Unmowed area to the right.

DPP mowed. Unmowed area to the right.

 

Thanks, DPP Volunteers!!! & other Deer Park Prairie Updates

Many Thanks to Deer Park Prairie Volunteers!

More Opportunity to Volunteer on Saturday, July 26, open from 9 AM – 6 PM

Thanks to the Volunteers who braved the heat and came to help prepare Deer Park Prairie for mowing:

Donna Bailey

Brandt Mannchen

Bill & Celeste Mead (Celeste came both Saturday & Monday!)

Pat and Glenn Merkord

Judy Thomas

Kelly Walker

On Saturday, Donna worked on Baccharis. Bill and Celeste Mead and I (Lan) removed  dead tallows logs downed during the June workday from the prairie and piled them along the east side drainage ditch easement.  Bill, using a chain saw purchased with the TPWD grant, cut down stumps to ground level, so the brush-hog would be able to mow there. McCartney rose was dug up. Glenn Merkord chopped back trees near the prairie entrance and cleared brush and vegetation to removed concrete chunks from the prairie, while Pat did transects required by the TPWD grant. (Unfortunately no photos were taken that day.)

On Monday, Brandt, Celeste, Glenn, Judy, Kelly,& Lan cut the tallow trees along the northwest the fence line at the entrance and cut back the dewberry to remove the debris under it.  All cuttings were transported via Glenn’s trailer to the northwest corner of the prairie, where a brush pile was created. The vegetation under the brush pile consisted of invasives, which hopefully will be smothered by the brush pile.

We were all extremely grateful for the company that chose Deer Park Prairie as the recipient of a violation fine it had to pay. Part of that money paid for fixing the house, so we were able to cool off in the A/C and Pat and Bill were able to shower and freshen up after a hot and sweaty workday.

Everyone enjoyed seeing the plants currently in bloom:

On July 22, the Merkords and I (Lan) met at the house with Flo Hannah of Houston Audubon Society, Mark Kramer of Armand Bayou Nature Center, Aaron Tjelmeland of Texas Nature Conservancy, and Don Verser for a very productive discussion of the Deer Park Prairie Management plan. The upcoming mowing was discussed as well as methods to deal with specific invasives, such as the King Ranch Bluestem, torpedo grass, San Augustine and Bahia grass.

Discussing DPP's Management Plan - July 22, 2014

Discussing DPP’s Management Plan – July 22, 2014