2nd Annual Texas Prairies Tour June 3

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

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

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. Pat_Rinn@TexasPrairie.org

For Additional Information
Contact Leigh Ann Ellis, 214.321.7159, laellis55@aol.com

Prescribed Burns for Prairie Health – Chapter Meeting 4/11

Tuesday, April 11th

6:30 pm

The Point and Pavilion at C.C. Young Senior Living
Flag Pole Classroom
4847 W Lawther Dr. between Mockingbird and E. Northwest Hwy.
Drive to the top of the hill and park. The Point is on the west side of the quadrant (closest to Lawther). See map below.
 

Let’s get hot! Our speaker is Stan Graff  of Northeast Texas Prescribed Burn Alliance  and the Great Plains Fire Science Exchange. He will speak on the many ways fire can be used to restore health and manage prairies, including prescribed burns and patch burns. 

For More Info: Leigh Ann Ellis, 214.321.7159

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Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area Restoration at Chapter Meeting 3/14

Tuesday, March 14th

6:30 pm

The Point and Pavilion at C.C. Young Senior Living
Flag Pole Classroom
4847 W Lawther Dr. between Mockingbird and E. Northwest Hwy.
Drive to the top of the hill and park. The Point is on the west side of the quadrant (closest to Lawther). See map below.

 

dr-kenneth-steigman2-smlKenneth Steigman, Ph.D., director of Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area, will speak on prairie restoration efforts conducted there, including their relationship with University of North Texas whose students assist with efforts. Steigman was formerly sanctuary manager at Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary.

For More Info: Leigh Ann Ellis, 214.321.7159

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Grant Bestowed to Renovate Harry Moss Park Prairie

national-fish-and-wildlife-foundationBig news for native prairies in Dallas! National Fish and Wildlife Foundation has bestowed a significant grant to the Dallas Parks & Recreation Department for restoration of the Blackland Prairie at Harry Moss Park  in Lake Highlands.

The department’s Urban Biologist, Brett Johnson, led the effort. It will be headed by Mark Bulloch of Native Restorations. The department stressed that volunteer efforts will be essential to its success, noting the importance of the October 2016 BioBlitz conducted there to the park’s ability to nab the grant. Full press release here.

hm-park-restoration-webLake Highlands Advocate just published an excellent follow-up on the Harry Moss Park Blackland Prairie restoration news. The historical context is fascinating, showing a park prairie that languished when volunteer support unraveled. It endured decades of invasives and woody encroachment before citizen efforts put it on the path of native beauty once again. Good work by Lake Highlands Advocate!

Harry Moss Park photo courtesy Dallas Parks & Recreation Dept. 

Midwest Native Prairies at Chapter Meeting 2/14

Tuesday, February 14th

6:30 pm

The Point and Pavilion at C.C. Young Senior Living
Flag Pole Classroom
4847 W Lawther Dr. between Mockingbird and E. Northwest Hwy.
Drive to the top of the hill and park. The Point is on the west side of the quadrant (closest to Lawther). See map below.

pat-merkford

 

Pat Merkford of NPAT to speak on midwestern native prairies.

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Photo: Columbus, Ohio prairie by Jim McCormac

 

Morning sun lights up the grasses and scattered trees of Hoosier Prairie Nature Preserve, northern IndianaPhoto: Indiana Prairie courtesy The Nature Conservancy

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Daphne Prairie Field Trip

January 28-29

Mount Vernon, Texas

Join this NPAT field trip to visit our newest addition to our land portfolio, the beautiful 922-acre Daphne Prairie in Northeast Texas near Mount Vernon. It happens on January 28-29, 2017.

Daphne-by-StalinSMView this large and very rare tract of Alfisol Prairie with grassland sparrows and other winter birds protected on this property. You do not have to be experienced in birding or wildlife surveying and all can participate by joining the experts as we explore this property and document its species.

Please contact Pat Merkord for information and directions to the property. There will be carpools from the Dallas area and the Houston area if you would like a ride or you may come on your own. pat_merkord@texasprairie.org or call 936-827-7973.

Prep yourself by contacting Timothy Stephen Dalbey for a CD of his report from last year. See his contact info in Visitor Posts in the right column (on computers) on our Facebook page.

Here’s our post from last summer on the field trip. Includes a 360-degree video.

Amy Martin’s poetic report on Daphne is the last section of this article: http://www.greensourcedfw.org/…/north-texas-wild-columnist-…

Maddin Prairie Preserve Winter Bird Survey, Monitoring & Maintenance Field Trip

January 21 & 22, 2017

16003005_574499866092513_7794637711326160865_nIf you would like to explore our fabulous preserve of the Rolling Plains ecoregion consider joining NPAT on a field trip to Maddin Prairie Preserve near Colorado City, between Abeline and Midland. It happens on January 21 and 22.

It is possible to carpool from Houston, Fort Worth and Austin or you can come on your own.

We will be doing surveys of the property including our winter bird point count, survey of prairie dogs and a general wildlife survey. There will be other maintenance activities that will require volunteer help as well such as checking the fence line and water pipes. There are always surprises waiting for visitors such as the burrowing owls living in the prairie dog burrows last January or the porcupine in a tree by Champion Creek that flows through the property on its way to the Colorado river.

To join this field trip contact kirsti_harms@texasprairie.org or pat_merkord@texasprarie.org or call Pat at 936-827-7973.