1/28/15 HNPAT Meeting & Miscellaneous News

Wed, 1/28 HNPAT mtg at Deer Park Prairie – Damien Carey & Pat Merkord on Birds of Deer Park Prairie; TPWD Frogloggers for detecting Crawfish Frog & others; Prairie Demo Garden, etc.

 Wednesday, January 28:
HNPAT January Meeting
Birding at Deer Park Prairie:
Birds That Utilize A Coastal Prairie Remnant

by Damien Carey & Pat Merkord

@ House on the Deer Park Prairie
1222 E. Purdue, Deer Park 77536
6:30 p.m. – Refreshments; 7:00 p.m. Program Starts

***  Scroll down for HNPAT NEWS  ***

Bird data for Deer Park Prairie:
The bird information for Deer Park Prairie will be consolidated soon.  However, for those wanting to view it immediately, the following links will take you to raw data currently available: 

Next Deer Park Prairie Workdays: 
Wednesday, February 11, 9:00 a.m. – noon.
Saturday February 28, 9:00 a.m. – noon
Workdays contact:
Glenn Merkord Glenn@Merkord.com or 936-827-7978
Wear rubber boots! Bring gardening tools that you have such as loppers, pruners, saws, garden gloves, etc. Limited amount of tools also available for use.

Next Deer Park Prairie Bird Survey:
Saturday, February 28, 7:30 a.m.

Next Meeting:
WEDNESDAY, February 25, 2015

Barbara Willy on
Monarch Butterflies & Growing Native Milkweeds
@3015 Richmond Ave. 77098 (Parking lot entrance on Eastside)
6:30 p.m. – Refreshment; 7:00 p.m. – Meeting starts.
Barbara is a Coastal Prairie Master Naturalist & Brazos Bend State Park Volunteer.  She is growing native milkweeds in her greenhouse and has put in many Monarch Way Stations including with a St. Thomas University environmental group.

Miscellaneous HNPAT News

Thanks to all our amazing volunteers who worked tirelessly this winter. Eventually a blog with photos will be posted.  Sorry for the delay!

From Kelly Norrid, Urban Wildlife Biologist, Texas Parks & Wildlife Dept.:  Tomorrow he & Diana Foss “are putting in a couple of acoustic monitors (frogloggers) in Deer Park Prairie to monitor for the Crawfish Frog (and other species).  We need to get the loggers out there ASAP because it is believed that they call as early as December through February….If you know of any volunteers that would like to assist with checking on the monitors & replacing batteries, feel free to give them my contact info…
Kelly’s contact info: kelly.norrid@tpwd.texas.gov.

Judy Thomas and Pat Merkord are talking about building a demonstration prairie garden along the cyclone fence backing onto the school. Anyone wishing to help, please contact Judy (jrthomas01@aol.com).

More pocket prairie are being established!  Yesterday, Hazel Potvin and Helen James received donations of prairie plants from the Gulf Coast Master Naturalists (Native) Plant Propagation Program (GCMN-PPP) for urban pocket prairies. Hazel and Noreen Hoard, Past-President of HNPAT are restoring a pocket prairie remnant, part of Westbury Community Garden. Helen, working with Eileen Hatcher are putting a pocket prairie at Japhet Creek Park.

Work for the November 12-14 Prairie Conference to be held at the Houston Zoo is coming along. Volunteers who wish to be involved, please contact (janis.terry@txgcmn.org) and she will put you down on the list. Thanks to Janis for being willing to be volunteer coordinator!  More information will be posted on our volunteer conference needs as they become available.  Locally, Celeste Mead and Cheryl Sedivec will be working on securing a hotel package. Conference calls are scheduled to talk about theme and topic strands for the conference.

We are still looking for possible meeting locations after this fall, since the building at Richmond Ave. will be torn down.  Thanks to Eileen Hatcher for her suggestion.  Other suggestions are welcome.



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HNPAT September Meeting, Workdays & Upcoming Events

Thanks to Pat for the upcoming events announcement – see forwarded email below for more details about the HNPAT events listed:

  • HNPAT September 23 Meeting (Flyer):


    Thursday, September 25 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

    3015 Richmond Ave. Houston 77098
    Learn all about collecting native prairie plant seed from Glenn Merkord, one of the team leaders for the Prairie Seed Council of the upper Gulf Coast. Free Native Seeds for Those Attending!
  • DPP workdays: Saturday, 9/27 and Wednesday 10/8, 9:00 a.m. – ?? (to whenever the volunteers want to stop)Starting this Saturday, we plan to have regular workdays at DPP on 4th Thursdays and 2nd Wednesdays of each month.  Glenn Merkord will be in charge of these two days. If the prairie is dry enough, he would like to get the tallows that have already been cut down off the prairie. If the prairie is too wet to use a trailer we can continue working on the fence line.  If someone wants do to something else at another time, please let us know and we would accommodate them. RSVP to HNPAT@TexasPrairie.org or just come.
  • Saturday, October 25 Field Trip to Big Thicket Prairie.
Fall is a busy time for Texas prairies!
Pat Merkord speaks to chapters

October is Prairie Month!

The Houston Chapter presents:

PRAIRIE SEED COLLECTING–Don’t miss this opportunity!

Monthly Meeting
Thursday, September 25 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

3015 Richmond Ave. Houston 77098
Learn all about collecting native prairie plant seed from Glenn Merkord. The talk will include demonstrations and hands-on opportunity to learn:
• When and How to Collect
• When Seeds are Ready to Collect
• How to Dry and Clean Seeds
• How to Prepare for Storage
• How to Store Seeds
Free Native Seeds for Those Attending!


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

1222 E. Purdue Lane, Deer Park
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
To register go to the Native Prairies Association website News and Events page.


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

at the Presbyterian Church at 8700 Chapin Road,Fort Worth
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

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!
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