Beck’s Creek Prairie Tour

On Sunday, May 3 at 10am, Eric Reed will lead a tour of Beck’s Creek Blackland Prairie & Springs.

Beck’s Creek Prairie is a 13.6 acre property north of Springbranch Drive adjacent to Woods Park, both near the Telecom Parkway in Plano. The prairie’s future, so far, is slated to become a residential subdivision. Several neighbors and environmentalists are trying to change that. Come see what’s in bloom this spring and hear the ongoing work to preserve this jewel.


To read more about this prairie, its history and proposed future, refer to the Notes at its Facebook page.

Meet at the pedestrian bridge circled on the map below.




Financial Incentives for Protecting Private Property in Texas

Friday, April 17

Three Oaks Community Center
158 CR 210
Floresville, TX 78114


9:00 – 9:10 am Welcome
Bryan Davis, County Extension Agent, Wilson County, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service

9:10– 10:40 am Easements / Landowner Rights / Q&A
Judon Fambrough, Senior Lecturer, Texas A&M University Real Estate Center

10:40 – 11:15 am Qualifying for Wildlife Management Use under 1-d-1 / Q&A
Trent Teinert, Wilson County Wildlife Biologist, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

11:15 – 11:45 Introduction to Conservation Easements, Panel Discussion
Allison Elder, General Counsel, Texas Agricultural Land Trust,
Pat Merkord, Executive Director, Native Prairies Association of Texas
Dr, James Fuller, Conservation Easement Donor
Ruthie Russell, Conservation Easement Donor

11:45 Distribute Box Lunches

12:15-1:30 pm Tour of Kirchoff Family Farm
Don Kirchoff – Kirchoff Family Farm

Thanks to the Guadalupe-Blanco River Trust for sponsoring lunch for the first 30 registrants, and to the Native Prairies Association of Texas for sponsoring drinks & dessert!

To Register, contact Bryan Davis at (830) 393-7357 or email at

View Wildflowers on Blackland Prairies in Sam Houston National Forest

On Saturday, May 16, 2015, the Houston Sierra Club and the Houston Chapter of the Native Prairies Association of Texas will visit blackland prairies in Sam Houston National Forest (SHNF). We will enjoy seeing wildflowers in bloom on prairies that are unique to SHNF and are indicative of the Fayette Prairie found farther west. The U.S. Forest Service will act as our guide and show us how they manage these prairies using prescribed burning and other management methods.

Bring your daypack, hat, three quarts of water, lunch, binoculars, hiking shoes, camera, and field guides and wear long pants and a short-sleeved shirt. Long pants are recommended due to briars and chiggers. It will be warm so we will dress cool. We will meet to carpool/caravan at 7:30 a.m. in the parking lot just west of Starbucks (look for Becks Prime) in Meyerland Plaza. Starbucks fronts the 4700 block of Beechnut (south side of Beechnut, near the West Loop South). Look for a silver Honda Civic with bumper stickers.

If you would like to come you can sign-up on the Houston Sierra Club Meet-Up Site or contact Brandt Mannchen at 713-664-5962 or by email at For those who want to meet us at the District Ranger Office the directions are as follows:

1) Drive from Houston about 55 miles north on Interstate 45 (I-45), past The Woodlands, Conroe, and Willis, and exit at New Waverly (FM 1375/SH 150/FM 1374 exit). If the construction work allows the first road you come to will be FM 1375. Turn left (west) onto FM 1375 and cross over I-45.

2) If the construction work does not allow follow the detour signs on the north I-45 feeder road (east side of I-45) to FM 1374, turn left onto FM 1374, cross over I-45, and turn left onto the south I-45 feeder and follow it until you come to FM 1375. Turn right onto FM 1375.

3) Go west about 2 miles on FM 1375 and on your right you will see a sign for the SHNF District Ranger Office, a driveway, and a parking lot. Turn right onto the driveway, park in the parking lot, and walk to the front of the District Ranger Office where we will meet.

Brandt Mannchen

Field Trip for Volunteers To Maddin Prairie Preserve

Field Trip for Volunteers
To Maddin Prairie Preserve
Mitchell County, Texas near Colorado City
Saturday & Sunday May 16 & 17, 2015 and/or Week of 11-15 May


Join the Native Prairies Association Staff to Survey Breeding Birds, Document Plants, Butterflies & Animals, Assist in Mesquite Control Project, Gate/Sign Installation. Prairie Dog and Horned Lizard Monitoring

Urgent Need for Volunteers!

We are interested in forming carpools from Austin, Fort Worth, Dallas and Houston for the weekend or during the week. Campsites are available and motel/lodging can be found in nearby Colorado City. We may be able to provide some camping equipment and food will be provided for those that attend. We received grants that provided funds for mesquite control but we need volunteers to help cut and treat mesquite to meet our match. All our spring surveys must also be conducted. If you are interested in volunteering and would like information to coordinate travel and accommodations please let us know. There is no charge from NPAT but gas money would be collected for any drivers.. Our Staff will be doing mesquite control all week and weekend and really need some volunteers to assist.. We desperately need volunteers so please consider and contact Pat or Phillip for more information. Please pass the on to others that may be interested.

Pat Merkord 936-827-7973 or
Phillip Quast

Mary Talbot Prairie Field Trip

Visit Rare Native Prairie – Mary Talbot Prairie
Bowie County, New Boston
Saturday, June 6, 8:00 – 12:00 AM
Join the Native Prairies Association Staff for its Annual Survey of Talbot Prairie – Help Identify Plants!
A Rare 114 Acre Silveus’ Dropseed Prairie


Field Trip Schedule

7:30 – 8:00 AM Meet at McDonalds in New Boston
702 N McCoy Blvd, New Boston, Texas
8:00-12:00 AM Explore & Survey the Prairie
12:00-1:00 Lunch in New Boston/or at Prairie Site
Explore and identify native prairie plants
Help us survey this extraordinary prairie
This is a premier remnant prairie
Don’t Miss It!
(25$/person $5/child – pay at site, includes lunch)
To Register Contact Pat Merkord 936-827-7973 or or

Spring 2015 Prairie Tours

There are a few prairie tours this spring that you should know about.

On April 18th & 19th tours will be given on Frankford Prairie near Frankford & the tollway.  Visit for more information.  Note: signing up is requested.

On May 2nd, the North Texas Master Naturalists will host Native Plants and Prairies Day at White Rock lake which will include tours of the White Rock prairie.

On Sunday, May 3 at 10am, Eric Reed will lead a tour of Beck’s Creek Blackland Prairie & Springs.

On May 16th, the Nature Conservancy is opening Clymer Meadow for a tour.  Visit the Nature Conservancy website for more info.  Note:  RSVP is required as space is limited.

On June 6th, our own Pat Merkord will give a tour of NPAT’s Mary Talbot Prairie in Bowie County.  See post on this website.

Know of other tours?  Let us know and we’ll add them to this post.  For all similar interest events the Master Naturalists have a great calendar!