Blackland Chapter Holiday Shindig

with Milo’s Christmas Tamale Celebration

Tuesday, December 12th
6:30 to 9 pm

5645 SMU Boulevard at Greenville, Dallas, TX 75206
Limited parking behind Milo’s and on SMU Blvd. Rideshare if you can. 

We gather in the open and rambling spaces of Milo to recount a year saving prairie spaces and tip a few to congratulate ourselves.

The party at Milo Butterfingers is also a fundraiser for the Bob Uhler Jesuit Scholarship Fund. A $10 donation will be requested {not demanded} which will entitle you to plenty of tamales, two draft beers and a raffle. You can also order off the regular menu.


Cedar Ridge Preserve Workday

Saturday, November 18, 8 am

Plant preparation: 8 am
Planting: 9 am
Carpooling recommended; parking very limited on weekends.

We will help restore a Blackland Prairie parcel that has had no attention since the ‘90s. Volunteers will plant 250 one-gallon pots of native grasses and forbs. Jobs include moving plants, digging holes, prepping soil, planting, and watering. Wear long pants and hiking boots. Hats and sunglasses recommended. Bring a water bottle and insect repellent.

Volunteer signup page:

Questions? Contact Tom Willard at or 469-766-7572, who says “You will be hard-pressed to find more fun than joining us.”

Mathews Prairie is Saved!

It was clear to prairie fans that $50,000 for a rare 100-acre plot of Blackland Prairie was a special opportunity. They rose to the occasion. With donations ranging from $20 to $10,000, and a major fundraising event by the Fort Worth NPAT chapter, Mathews Prairie was purchased in record time.

A big celebration will be held in January. Check our Facebook page for a report from an Liatris Matthews Prairie P1270202informal multi-group celebration excursion held there in November.

Mathews Prairie is under a conservation easement with The Nature Conservancy, but intense encroachment pressures led to NPAT to purchase the prairie and co-manage with TNC as it does with Mary Talbot Prairie. With the 1400-acre Clymer Meadow, Mathews, and other prairie remnants, Hunt County has the greatest concentration of Blackland projects in North Texas.

“The plant community on this particular remnant is incredibly diverse and shows many of the ‘indicator’ species known in the area thought to only grow in a true prairie are abundant on Mathews Prairie in summer,” says Brandon Belcher, North Texas Preserves Manager for TNC. “These prairies all work together as islands to support one another through genetic exchange.”

Just a few more $ needed to fund Paul Mathews Prairie

Coming down the home stretch for Paul Mathews Prairie funding. Exciting! Please help NPAT preserve this rare 100 acres of true Blackland Prairie. Share this flier! Donate here:…/NativePrair…/mathewsprairie.htmlPaul-Mathews-flyer

Check out this great PowerPoint presentation by the Fort Worth NPAT chapter.

mathews power point 1


Cedar Ridge Preserve Field Trip

Photo by Ben Sandifer, Trinity Trails Blog

Saturday, November 11

Meet 9:30 am at Cedar Ridge Preserve

7171 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas, TX 75249

Carpooling recommended; parking very limited on weekends.

Tom Willard introduces the Blackland Chapter to the prairie parts of Cedar Ridge Preserve in southwest Dallas County. The county’s highest elevation at 755 feet, the 600 acres (formerly the Dallas Nature Center) offers some astounding views and a wide variety of habitats. This will be in lieu of the November BNPAT meeting. Trail map.

It will take 90 minutes for the complete tour. Though it will involve quite a bit of walking, we will start with the close, easy walking sites, and then progress to the more challenging. You can bow out at any time.

Discover some well-established prairies, and examine overgrown prairies and those being restored. (A BNPAT workday will be the following Saturday.) We’ll discuss the challenging aspect with prairie restoration and maintenance. 

Comfortable work shoes or boots, hat, and sunglasses recommended. Bring a water bottle and insect repellent. Questions? Email, text or call 469-766-7572.

Details on November 18 workday.

Grassland Wildlife with Pat Merkord

Grassland Wildlife
with Pat Merkord

Executive director, Native Prairies Association of Texas
North Texas Master Naturalists
Wednesday, November 8
6:30 to 8:45 pm

Meadows Conference Center
Oak Corner Conference Room
2900 Live Oak Street, Dallas, Texas 75204


  • 6:30 Meet and eat
  • 7:00 Introduction and Announcements
  • 7:20 Featured Presentation
  • 8:45 Adjournment

As always all of our meetings are free and open to the public. Hope to see YOU there!

Pat Merkord will speak on the wildlife, including birds and insects, that rely on prairies for their existence. Learn the vital role of prairies in migrating monarchs and the many grassland birds that do not rely on trees. Find out whose burrows laces the prairie soil and crawdads that tunnel down 10 feet or more. It’s a jungle in there!

Since 2006, Pat has been with the Native Prairies Association of Texas, a non-profit land trust that conserves, restores and educates about Texas prairies. She has served as Secretary and President of the Board and is now Executive Director. NPAT was founded in 1986 by a group of Texans concerned greatly about our disappearing prairie heritage, especially Texas’ endangered tallgrass prairies. It is a non-profit membership organization and land trust dedicated to the conservation, restoration, and appreciation of native prairies, savannas, and other grasslands in Texas. NPAT protects over 3,925 acres of native Texas prairie, including over 1340 acres of endangered/threatened tallgrass prairie.

An Austin native, Pat currently lives in Conroe, Texas with her husband, Glenn. Her Bachelor of Science degree is from Texas A&M Kingsville and her Master’s degree in biology is from Texas State University. Formerly a biology and chemistry teacher, she retired from teaching and started a biological consulting business, Bluestem Environmental Consultants, which has been operating since 2004. She enjoys birding, gardening with natives, and traveling around the state visiting with landowners, working to restore prairie habitats, and educating about Texas native prairies.

BNPAT’s Mathews Prairie and Clymer Meadow Field Trip

Saturday, October 14, 8:30 am

We’ll spend the morning at Mathews Prairie, a 100-acre pristine Blackland Prairie preserve. It is densely grassed, heavily forbed, and riddled with deep gilgai impressions. Currently under a conservation easement with The Nature Conservancy, NPAT seeks to additionally protect the property from rapid encroachment by purchasing it and co-managing with TNC. Our host will be Brandon Belcher, North Texas Preserves Manager for TNC, who will grace us with his deep prairie knowledge.

Learn more about Mathews Prairie and the importance of preserving it in this GreenSourceDFW article. Enjoy these photos from the Fort Worth NPAT chapter’s recent field trip.

We’ll lunch at Just Pie, 2205 Lee St. in Greenville. Sandwiches, salads, soups, and pies.

The afternoon starts with a visit to a NPAT conservation easement adjacent to Clymer Meadow, 1400 acres of Blackland Prairie owned by TNC. We will collect native prairie seeds from the easement for Texas Native Seed Project, part of the Caesar Kleburg Wildlife Research Initiative.

Also led by Brandon Belcher, we conclude with a short amble around Clymer, big enough to get a sense of the pre-pioneer prairie. With its broad plateaus and significant slopes leading to wet-weather creek and ponds, the variety of terrain fosters an astounding plant variety.


  • The field trip is free.
  • Meet 8:30 am at Bath House Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther Dr. (off Buckner & Northcliff), Dallas. Park in rows furthest from White Rock Lake.
  • We will gather to carpool as parking is very limited at both prairies. Please let us know if you can help as a designated driver.
  • We leave at 8:45 am for our first destination, Mathews Prairie, and arrive by 9:45 am.
  • At noon, we travel to Greenville and enjoy lunch.
  • Arrive 1:30 pm at our last destination, Clymer Meadow, and depart by 4:00 pm.
  • Return to the Bath House Cultural Center by 5:00 pm.
  • Wear long pants and hiking boots. Hats and sunglasses recommended. Bring a water bottle and insect repellent.

Please RSVP to or text 214-395-1902. In case of bad weather, the field trip will be canceled and rescheduled at a later date.