Prairie Maintenance #1: Mowing

A question came to NPAT (Native Prairies Association of Texas): “We will be converting some acreage in our parks [to] prairies and wildflower areas… What is the recommended amount of times per year and height… to mow the areas…

Answered by Tim Siegmund of Texas Parks & Wildlife and board member of NPAT

I would agree with the once or twice.  6 or 7 times a year is wayyyyyy too much for any type of prairie in Texas to truly express itself floristically….

I would recommend 6” being absolute lowest they would shred.  It would be better at 8-12”.  This leaves more growing points (buds, leaves, stems) on the vegetation so it can recover and survive. I tell folks that shredding in late February is ok before spring wildflowers begin to lift from their rosettes, and then early July is ok once spring wildflowers are done, and it gives summer and fall wildflowers enough time to recover to bloom again in the fall if they get rain.

As far as untidy that is the in the eye of beholder.  Some would say thickets of Japanese honeysuckle, Chinese privet, Ligustrum, and callary pear are untidy, but that’s what I see when I go to most city parks.  So an untidy native area with lots of bees and butterflies may be of better worth especially with a few interpretive signs to let folks know why it looks the way it does.

Prairie Stampede in Two Days!

Still time to register. From our home page:

https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07eerx5jpw63e1eaef&oseq=&c=&ch=

HNPAT and the Coastal Prairie Partnership are proud to announce the 2017 Prairie Stampede! We will honor a number of prairie champions from across Texas and coastal Louisiana including Flo Hannah of Houston Audubon.

Join us for a prairie potluck dinner and evening of networking, awards, and celebration of 2017 prairie accomplishments for Greater Houston, Texas, and Louisiana. All prairie enthusiasts, restorationists, and organizations supporting and preserving native prairies in Texas and Louisiana are cordially invited! This is a potluck dinner, so register and bring something tasty!

Click here to register now.

Updated 7/13/17: UP (Urban Prairie) Team Events July, 2017

UP (Urban Prairie) Team Events July, 2017

Details of all events (regular and special) are on our calendar tinyurl.com/UPTeamCal
 

Changed: Friday, July 14, St. Thomas University Prairie, 9:00 am – noon

Join University of St. Thomas students for a workday at their prairie.
Address: 4103 Graustark., Houston, TX 77006
Monday, July 17, Willow Waterhole Demonstration Native Gardens, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
From Hazel Potvin: “We have 8 smallish gardens with concrete walkways around them so people can visit and observe. We are currently trying to get the weeds down in the gardens which were planted in March with plants from the City of Houston Natural Resources Dept. We work from 6-8 in the evenings because of the heat. The address is 5500 block of S. Willow. We drive up into the area but you can park at The Gathering Place at 5310 S. Willow and walk over. ” To RSVP and for more information, contact Hazel Potvin, email: hazelnut856@yahoo.com
May Be Changed. Updates will be posted on calendar next week:  Friday, July 21, Buffalo Bayou Park, Prairie Area Workday, 9:00 am – noon
For detailed information on meeting location and parking, please check the calendar, tinyurl.com/UPTeamCal,  for updates a few days before the event or contact JGonzalez@KatyPrairie.org
Cancelled: Friday, July 28, UH Downtown Pocket Prairie
Reason:  The construction in Johnny Goyen Park, site of the UHD Pocket Prairie, continues and appears unlikely to be completed by July 28th.

Regular monthly UP Team volunteer events are now posted on the calendar: tinyurl.com/UPTeamCal

Check the calendar for details.
  • 1st Saturdays: Hermann Park, Bayou Savannah Workday (near 6520 Almeda)
  • 2nd Wednesday: Deer Park Prairie Workday
  • 2nd Thursdays: Native (and mostly prairie) plant propagation at City of Houston Greenhouse at Memorial Park
  • 2nd Saturdays: Hermann Park, Whistlestop Prairie Workday (near Japanese Garden)
  • 4th Thursdays: Native (and mostly prairie) plant propagation at City of Houston Greenhouse at Memorial Park
  • 4th Saturdays: Deer Park Prairie Workday
  • 4th Saturdays: Hermann Park, Bayou Savannah Workday (near 6520 Almeda)


August Preview:

  • Monday, August 21, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm – Willow Waterhole Demonstration Native Plant Gardens
General workday attire/needs: long pants and closed toe shoes. Optional: hat, sunscreen, long-sleeved shirt, insect repellent, water. If you have them bring some garden tools like garden gloves, trowel and/or shovel.

7/7/17 Urban Prairies Manager Summit

On Friday, July 7th, the Coastal Prairie Partnership will host an innovative morning of learning and networking focused on the challenges of managing, restoring, and interpreting urban grasslands in the Greater Houston Region. There are only about 12 seats left, so if you or someone you might know would appreciate this offering please send them the link to this page.

2nd Annual Texas Prairies Bus Tour (Dallas) 6/3/17

Native Prairies Association of Texas offers a bus tour  on Saturday, June 3, 2017, of prairies of central Texas starting from Dallas and touring prairies near Temple, Austin, and Crawford. Participants of last year’s tour had a great time.

Although it said registration deadline is May 10, I received a copy of the email this week. When I clicked the registration link, I got through. Best to contact  Leigh Ann Ellis, 214.321.7159, if you are interested.

2nd Annual Texas Prairies Tour

Blackland Chapter, Native Prairies Association of Texas
2nd Annual Texas Prairies Tour
Saturday, June 3, 2017

Bath House Cultural Center at White Rock Lake
521 E Lawther Dr. (access via Northcliff and N. Buckner)Click here to register for this event.
See itinerary below
 

Our Northeast Texas prairies tour was so fun last year, we’re doing it again, but this time we’re heading to Central Texas.

Enjoy short excursions in beautiful grasslands, most of which are not generally open to the public. A chance to stand in awe in a native prairie as it was before westward expansion. We’ll also learn about native prairie restoration and management. Become inspired on how to keep native prairies thriving for generations to come.

We’ll zip south to near Temple, which is halfway between Waco and Austin. After lunch in Salado, we’ll drive further south to near Taylor (west of Round Rock). Heading back north, we’ll go to Marlin (SE of Waco), where we’ll visit a series of small Blackland Prairies. Then we’ll travel west of Waco to tour an example of a Grand Prairie. Heading north to home, we’ll stop in West for dinner.

Itinerary

7:00am — Bus leaves from parking lot at Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E Lawther Dr, Dallas, TX 75218.

Prairie #1: Burleson Prairie, Oenaville (east of Temple, Texas):

  • Prairie Guide: Mickey Burleson, Owner of Burleson Prairie
Native prairie restored by Mickey and her late husband, Bob Burleson. They spent decades recording prairie data, restoring hundreds of acres of native prairie, and focusing on state wide conservation efforts.

Lunch in Salado with Dolly Kunz Wilson; included in tour fee.

Prairie #2: Granger Lake Prairie, Granger Lake Park, Taylor

  • Prairie Guide: Pat Merkord, Executive Director, NPAT
Pat will explain restoration procedures taken on this native tallgrass prairie site, planted in 1994 in a cooperative effort between NPAT, Texas Parks and Wildlife, and the Army Corps of Engineers.

Prairie #3: Riesel Prairie and Prairie #4: Lehmann Prairie, near Marlin

  • Prairie Guide: Pat Merkord, Executive Director, NPAT
These two small prairies are about 10 miles apart and are excellent examples of the native tallgrasses that were prevalent in Central Texas area prior to European settlement. The Lehmann Prairie is an 11-acre remnant prairie protected by a conservation easement. The Riesel Prairie is a 5-acre remnant prairie owned by NPAT.

Prairie #5: Simpson Prairie, near Crawford

  • Prairie Guides: Marliss and Mike Williams
Remnant of the Grand Prairie (Lampasas Cut Plains of the Cross Timbers and Prairies) on a gently sloping hillside. Mike remembered seeing some native prairie before the area became overgrazed, located and identified it, and restored it with his wife Marliss. Protected by NPAT conservation easement.

Dinner in West; on your own dime
•    Picha’s Czech-American Restaurant
•    Two Amigos Mexican Restaurant
•    West Station Roadhouse Restaurant

10:30pm — Bus returns parking lot at Bath House Cultural Center

  • In case of harsh weather for June 3, the tour will be rescheduled.
  • Wear loose hiking clothes and sturdy shoes for prairie walking. Bring a hat, bug repellant, and sunscreen. Road snacks/beverages and books/etc to pass the time while traveling, plus back-up power for your phone, are good ideas.

Deadline for payment is May 10:

  • Cost for NPAT Members — $75.00
  • Cost for non-NPAT Members — $85.00
  • Notes on the prairie stops and a map will be provided.

Click here to register for this event.Contact Pat Rinn, NPAT, with any questions about registration.

For Additional Information
Contact Leigh Ann Ellis, 214.321.7159

Lehmann Prairie photos above courtesy NPAT

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Lehmann Prairie photo courtesy NPAT
Reisel Prairie photo courtesy NPAT
Simpson Prairie photo courtesy NPAT
Simpson Prairie photo courtesy NPAT
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Upcoming UP (Urban Prairie) Team Activities

To UP Team members and everyone else,

Join us for these upcoming Urban Prairie activities! See the UP Team Calendar (at this link) for details of the events. Click on the workday date to get the details. Another way to access the calendar is to go to HoustonPrairie.org and click the Calendar tab.

March, 2017, UP Team activities:
  • Friday, March 3: UH Shasta Prairie Planting Day on UH’s main campus from noon – 3:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 4: Volunteer for the Prairie Booth at Nature Fest in Jesse Jones Park & Nature Center, 20634 Kenswick Dr, Humble, TX 77338
  • Wednesday, March 8: Deer Park Prairie Workday in Deer Park, TX 9:00 a.m. – noon
  • Friday, March 10: MD Anderson Prairie Workday, 9:00 a.m. – noon
  • Friday & SaturdayMarch 17 and 18, Volunteer for the Prairie Booth at March Mart at Mercer, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 19, Training opportunity. Join the Native Plant Society of Texas – Houston to Willow Waterhole, a prairie remnant in SW Houston that has a population of the endangered prairie dawn plant.
  • Saturday, March 25: Deer Park Prairie Workday in Deer Park, TX 9:00 a.m. – noon
  • Saturday, March 25: Volunteer for the at Houston Zoo, Saving Wildlife Expo

Want to help plant, maintain, and communicate about Urban Prairies? Join us to get monthly emails on Urban Prairies activities that need your help!

Sign Up Now!

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Join the Urban Prairie (UP) Team!

Want to volunteer for prairie related activities close to home? Want to visit different urban prairie installations and learn from many prairie experts?

Several parks and schools mostly within Beltway 8 need volunteers to establish and/or maintain urban pocket prairies. Here is your chance to help! Sign up today to receive regular notices about upcoming events. More information in the flyer. Check our UP Team Calendar.

 

Creating Or Recreating a Prairie by Charles Allen

found this blog on how to build a prairie at https://marcpastorek.com/how-to-build-a-prarie/ .  Article was written by Charles Allen, active in the Cajun Prairie Society.

Pictures below shows recreating and a recreated Bayou Savannah (prairie under an open canopy of trees) at Hermann Park, near 6520 Almeda, Blvd, Houston.

Photos were taken in January and July, 2012:

img_00001276

 

img_00000389

Planted and they will come!

WHF’s Native Prairie Discovery Tour 10/7/2016

WHF’s Native Prairie Discovery Tour on October 7 will be kicking off Houston’s 2016 Prairies & Pollinators Month set for Oct. 7 – Nov. 12. Events offer a host of fun, educational, and hands-on activities and adventures for all ages at state parks, nature preserves, and public green spaces throughout the greater Houston area.

Registration deadline: Friday, September 30, 2016
Online: go to our website at www.whf-texas.org  or call Austin Co. Agrilife Extension Office at 979.865.207214125067_1082741395153685_3221785565125671433_oscreen-shot-2016-09-28-at-5-46-56-pm

Agenda: Pre-tour instruction – Morning Bus/Walking Tour —- Lunch —- Afternoon Bus/Walking Tour

Participants will have a hands-on opportunity to explore local native grass prairie sites under the guidance of some of the state’s top botanists, entomologists and biologists. Guided tours on sites restored as a part of WHF’s Wildlife Corridor Program will include plant and insect identification, viewing results of various prairie restoration practices and a rainfall simulator demonstration.