Training and Volunteer Opportunities

Training

Prairie Mapping, Phase II

Native Prairie Association of Texas Executive Director Pat Merkord is on a mission to recruit interested volunteers to help survey known prairies and find new prairies.  The survey will provide useful information for Texas Parks and Wildlife in determining the status of prairie lands and adding new prairies to the existing data base housed by TPWD.  A mapping tool is being developed that will include identifying pollinators and pollinator plants. This mapping activity is a great opportunity to get out and learn more about prairies and the amazing plants and animals that live there. Workshops on using technology to locate prairies and how to record photos and information are being offered on various dates, as well as field trips to develop skills in plant and prairie identification. New training dates are being added.

 Call or email Pat Merkord to get more information 936-827-7973

Volunteering

Armand Bayou Nature Center

Every Friday from 8:30 a.m. until noon volunteers work on prairie stewardship during ABNC’s “Prairie Friday.”  If you are not a registered ABNC volunteer, please visit their website at www.abnc.org for more information.

Houston Parks and Rec

The Natural Resources Management Program (NRMP) of the Houston Parks & Recreation Department (HPARD) is looking for volunteers to assist in propagation of native plants for restoration projects in parks throughout the city. Current volunteer opportunities include planting locally collected native seed, bumping up plants to 1 gallon pots, and weeding pots. Additionally, there will be future opportunities to install plants at restoration sites, assist with school and community planting events, and collect seed at prairie sites around the city.  The NRMP is working to encourage the use of native plants throughout the city of Houston and restore degraded park areas to their historical native prairie ecosystem. We have a wonderful greenhouse facility located on Memorial Drive between East Memorial Loop Drive and Crestwood Drive. The volunteer workday is currently scheduled for the second Thursday of the month from 9 am to noon. We anticipate increasing the workday to two Thursdays a month in the near future. Interested volunteers should contact Kelli.Ondracek@houstontx.gov for more information. Please join us in spreading native plants throughout the City of Houston!

Katy Prairie Conservancy

As a nonprofit land trust, the Katy Prairie Conservancy (“KPC”) works to protect green space for its conservation and recreational benefits, enhance wildlife habitat, restore tallgrass prairie and wetlands, sponsor scientific research, and offer public programming and activities to introduce the general and school-aged public to the sights and sounds of the prairie.

KPC has regular scheduled volunteer workdays at their Indiangrass Preserve and Shrike Prairie locations.  Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. volunteers work in the native plant nursery at the Indiangrass Preserve, located at 31950 Hebert Road in Waller.  One Tuesday a month the volunteers move to Shrike Prairie to work on prairie restoration and invasive species removal. Contact Allen Brymer (abrymer@katyprairie.org) for more details.

Lawther – Deer Park Prairie

Scheduled workdays for Deer Park Prairie are the second Wednesdays and fourth Saturdays of the Month, 9 a.m. to noon. If you plan to come, please RSVP to HNPAT@TexasPrairie.org or call Glenn at 1-936-827-7978.  Check here for more information.

Sheldon Lake State Park

Tuesdays from 8:00 a.m. until noon volunteers work on prairie restoration and Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. until noon they work on wetland restoration.  Contact John Egan je190072@msn.com for more information.

Texas City Prairie Preserve

Looking for a way to get your hands dirty and get back to nature? Become a Nature Conservancy volunteer! We’ve established a robust volunteer program at our Texas City Prairie Preserve, a 2,300-acre expanse of coastal prairie and marshland just south of Houston. Established in 1995, the preserve provides vital habitat for more than 280 different bird species. Its coastal grasslands also act as natural buffers during storms and hurricanes, absorbing and dispersing water from storm surges and floods, making Texas City Prairie a critical component of the Conservancy’s ongoing effort to restore and protect the Gulf Coast.

We’re hosting volunteers the second Friday of every month, and welcome eager volunteers of every background and ability level. Work days will include a variety of opportunities, from removing invasive species and harvesting native seeds to planting marsh grasses and tending the butterfly garden.

Volunteers should wear jeans, closed-toe shoes, a long-sleeved shirt and hat. Please bring a refillable water bottle and work gloves (if you have them); the Conservancy will provide tools, gloves, sunscreen, water and snacks.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Adriane Arnold at adriane.arnold@tnc.org or (409) 941-9114.