December 23rd Winter Walk at Parkhill Prairie and High Point Park/Wildflower Preserve

A few NPAT and Blackland Chapter members visited Parkhill Prairie and High Point Park/Wildflower Preserve for a day of learning and observation. 

Of particular interest was the effect of fire in the prairie ecosystem on each parcel of land.

From: earthobservatory.nasa.gov:

“Fires remove old plant material, consuming dry, dead grass and woody shrubs and trees and returning nutrients to the soil. A burn exposes soil to the sunlight, and new grasses grow quickly in the warmed soil.  If fires did not occur, the trees and other woody plants would quickly infiltrate the grassland.”

The Nature Conservancy is assisting in the restoration of this remnant prairie by control of exotic species and re-introduction of fire as a management tool.

The following information was provided by The Nature Conservancy’s North Texas Preserves Manager, Brandon Belcher:

“Parkhill was burned in October. The conditions were great and the fire success was phenomenal. The spring color should be spectacular!

Below is a map of the area burned – the park is outlined in yellow, the burn unit in red.  On the north end of the burn area, you can find some space that we did not burn (left for simplicity / expediency, as well as to serve as refugia).  In that area (restoration actually), you will find abundant Indiangrass and a good variety of prairie species. 

To reach the area most easily, take the hiking trail starting at the west/left kiosk.  When you reach the overlook at the north end, walk down the hill and to your right (northeast).  You will have no trouble finding and following the firebreak.”

The yellow boundary indicates Parkhill Prairie 436-acre preserve, and the red boundary indicates the 52-acre prairie area burned in October 2020.

–Map provided by Brandon Belcher.
–Fire break was easy to follow.
–Recovering/emerging grasses.
–Crayfish burrow.
–Crayfish burrows/tunnels were easy to spot in the burned area.
–Baptisia on High Point Park/Wildflower Preserve in Farmersville.
–Scenic High Point vista overlooking South Lake Park in Farmersville.
“The garden (prairie) in winter is an emotional experience. You think in terms of decay and disappearing and coming back. You feel the life cycle of nature.” –Piet Oudolf

Location: High Point Park/Wildflower Preserve

Pics from the Talbot Brothers Prairie Work Day

It was a perfect day for seed collecting by the hardy NPAT volunteers that showed up near New Boston, Texas for a work day in late October. The temperature was cool and the sky was overcast. By the time we were finished, it was very humid in northeast Texas. An early start is always preferable. Such a nice time out on the prairie! Thanks, NPAT!

It was a gray day, but these yellow swamp sunflowers (Helianthus angustifolius) made the prairie entrance pop!
Giant coneflowers were also at the entrance and mostly along the fence line.
Rhus lanceolata.
Asters were plentiful.
A rare Lady’s Tresses (type of orchid). Spiranthes cernua.
The purpose of the workday was to collect seeds and then disperse them near the fence line next to the new barbed-wire fence. Across the road is the Texas Department of Corrections Telford Unit.
The Talbot Brothers prairie is a rather large plot of land with a creek
and some forested areas.
Fall color on the sumac.
Interesting web to see close to Halloween!
A pearl crescent butterfly on the prairie . . .
More asters scattered around.
From above.
Better pic of a Lady’s Tresses.
The seed collectors . . .

Thanks to Kirsti Harms, our Executive Director of NPAT, for two pics.

Help Us Make Our Match!

Double Your Impact with a $1-to-$1 Match

Donate today!

The Dixon Water Foundation has made this generous challenge possible so you can double the impact of your gift to fund the new North Texas Outreach & Stewardship Program! Don’t miss your opportunity to create transformational change for the Native Prairies Association of Texas in this rapidly urbanizing region.

Prairie is the natural landscape of North Texas. More than 99 percent of the prairie ecosystem experienced by early Texans has been plowed for croplands or altered through heavy grazing. An additional threat is development for cities and industry. Family lands near cities are being sold, generating an urgent need for prairie conservation and awareness in and around the Dallas-Fort Worth metro region. The tallgrass prairie is the most-endangered ecosystem in North America. It is worth saving!

During this pandemic, natural open space has become more important than ever for the well being of Texans living in urban areas. Native grasslands have proven to mitigate flooding, cool urban heat islands and improve water quality in this age of extreme weather events. Prairies are an important part of the solution for declining bird and insect populations. Saving prairies and grasslands is an investment in a more resilient climate in a time of change.

Please help us protect prairies to protect our future. 

Donate Today!

Work Day at Talbot Brothers Prairie

Images courtesy of Ann Sansone of a giant coneflower (Rudbekia maxima), left, and a Virginia meadow beauty (Rhexia virginica), right.

Hello Prairie People!

On Saturday, October 24, 2020, from 9 am until noon, we will be having a work day at the Talbot Brothers Prairie located in Bowie County near the town of New Boston. This northeast Texas prairie is one of NPAT’s latest acquisitions.

This special work day will involve collecting seeds from the prairie to plant in areas that were disturbed during a fence project.

Come check out NPAT’s newest prairie! 

To learn more about this prairie, you can click here: https://texasprairie.org/talbot-brothers-prairie/

To RSVP and for more details, contact Kirsti Harms at kirsti_harms@texasprairie.org.

Of course, social distancing and masks will be required.

Winter Calendar

December

Tuesday, December 10th, 6:30pm

Christopher Roos, SMU Archaeologist

Native Hunters, Prairies, and Bisons

In the Flag Pole Room, in the Point Activity Center, CC Young.

 

January 2020

Tuesday, January 7th, 6:30

Erin Hatchett, Certified Wildlife Biologist, New NPAT Board Member 

Grassland Birds & Wind Energy

In the Flag Pole Room, in the Point Activity Center, CC Young.

 

February 2020

Tuesday, February 11th, 6:30

Barney Lipscomb, BRIT, Ft. Worth

A Botanical Waltz Across Texas

In the Flag Pole Room, in the Point Activity Center, CC Young.

More Prairie Time


In  Coordination  With

MATT WHITE

Texas’   Prairie   Maverick

Educator, Author of Prairie Time and Historian

https://moreprairietime.wordpress.com/


Matt White, author of Prairie Time has a new blog:

More Prairie Time!

The blog is the result of an around-the-table lunch conversation with Matt, his wife Kristen, attending members of our Blackland Chapter and Leigh Ann during the early June prairie conference in Houston.

It is an exciting new opportunity for Matt and his family as he shares his knowledge and love of prairies!
Our chapter is very excited on what the future holds for Matt.

Please visit and sign-up to follow his new postings.

Fall Calendar

September 

Tuesday, September 10th, 6:30pm

Roger Sanderson, Chapter VP

In the Flag Pole Room, in the Point Activity Center, CC Young.

More details forthcoming.

 

Saturday, September 21st 

Leo Ranch, Southwestern Cooke County

(northwest of Sanger Texas) NPAT Members Meeting

Leo Ranch is owned by Dixon Water Foundation.  

More details forthcoming.

 

Saturday, September 28th

Work Day Maddin Prairie, Colorado City, Texas

We will discuss  this field trip more on September 10th.

We stay at La Quinta in Colorado City and always have such a memorable and exciting time!!!


October 

Saturday, October 12th

Ft. Worth NPAT Field trip

Skip Barnett’s Prairie, north of Ft. Worth      

More details forthcoming.

 

Friday, October 18th-Sunday, October 20th,

Texas Master Naturalist Annual Meeting

Rockwall, Texas


November 

Tuesday, November 5th, 6:30pm,

Photographer Sean Fitzgerald

Prairie Photography And More

Sean grew up on the North Dakota prairies and is one of Texas’ premier photographers of wild flowers and prairies. 

In the Flag Pole Room, in the Point Activity Center, CC Young


December

Tuesday, December 10th, 6:30pm   

Christopher Roos, SMU Archaeologist   

Native Hunters, Prairies, and Bisons

In the Flag Pole Room, in the Point Activity Center, CC Young

What an exciting meeting to end 2019!!!

 

Also, we will have work mornings at Boy Scout Hill, White Rock in the Fall!