North American Prairie Conference

North American Prairie Conference

Registration is now open for the 25th North American Prairie Conference: Healthy Prairies, Healthy Watersheds, June 2-5, 2019, to be held at the University of Houston – Clear Lake.
Water is life. This is nowhere truer than on our prairies. Prairie wetlands nourish colorful plants, serve as amphibian nurseries, provide feeding grounds for shorebirds, and quench thirst for countless upland prairie species. They also help staunch floodwaters and purify drinking water. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s damage to coastal Texas, prairies are in the spotlight for the stacked benefits they provide, including their ability to serve as living sponges. Conference attendees will explore the rich Coastal Prairies of Greater Houston-Galveston region of southeast Texas, which have been increasingly recognized for their ability to create healthier and more resilient watersheds.

This year’s conference will bring together the brightest minds in prairie conservation from across Texas, the Southeast, and the Midwest. These experts will explore practical methods to restore, conserve, manage, study, enjoy, and educate about our valuable and vulnerable prairies, savannahs, and meadows. The conference experience is designed for a broad audience: private landowners, natural resource professionals, governmental agencies, educators, landscape architects, master naturalists, volunteers, and others looking for real-world solutions.
Preliminary Conference Agenda:
Sunday, June 2
● Pre-conference field trip to Texas Institute for Coastal Prairie Research and Education
● Opening mixer at UHCL and welcome by Jaime Gonzalez; Houston Urban Conservation Programs Manager, The Nature Conservancy

Monday, June 3
● Monday highlights: Keynote speaker, Carol Davit; Director of the Missouri Prairie Foundation
● Invited speaker: Dr. John Jacobs from Texas A&M Agrilife Extension and Texas Community Watershed Partners
● Monday’s program will also feature several conference sessions on prairie restoration, prairie wildlife, management, monitoring, hydrology, and also give attendees an opportunity to participate in workshops including The Management of Belowground Ecosystems (Illinois State University), Seed Banking (Mercer Botanical Garden and Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center) and the Graminoid diversity of Texas Gulf Coast
region (Resource Environmental Solutions, LLC)
● Evening banquet at UHCL with Featured Speaker Dr. Reed Noss; Chief Science Advisor, Southeastern Grasslands Initiative
Tuesday, June 4
● Multiple options for guided field trips to the lower Big Thicket area of East Texas, Southwest and West Houston prairies, and the coastal prairies of the barrier islands of the Gulf shores to urban sites within the city.
● Texas barbecue dinner at the Armand Bayou Nature Center, the largest urban wilderness preserve in the U.S., with Featured Speaker Dr. Dwayne Estes; Director of the Southeastern Grasslands Initiative.

Wednesday, June 5
● Monday highlights: Featured Speaker Chris Helzer; The Nature Conservancy – Nebraska and Invited speaker Dr. Kelly Kindscher; Senior Scientist, Kansas Biology Survey, University of Kansas.
● Wednesday’s program will additionally include sessions and workshops on prairie education, urban restoration projects, and community engagement.
Register before April 22 at northamericanprairie.org and receive the early registration rate of $260 for all conference activities!
The call for abstracts for oral presentations and posters is open, and may be submitted online until April 1, 2019.
Sponsorships are available, and fully tax-deductible. For more information and for the latest updates, visit northamericanprairie.org.

The 2019 North American Prairie Conference presented by the Coastal Prairie Partnership, Native Prairies Association of Texas, Katy Prairie Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy – Texas, and hosted by the Environmental Institute of Houston, University of Houston – Clear Lake.

Kim Olson at May 8th meeting

Trinity Valley Beekeepers Association and Blackland Chapter, NPAT will combine meetings to hear Kim Olson, Col., United States Air Force (Ret.) speaking on her experiences in beekeeping and native grasslands on her family farm in Mineral Wells.

Kim will also share what she is hearing about these topics as she travels the state as 2018 Democratic Nominee, for Texas Commissioner of Agriculture. Kim has a vast resume including former Director of HR, DISD, and former CEO of Grace After Fire.

May 8th
6:30pm-8:00pm

In the Beekeepers Meeting Room, in the Pavilion, CC Young

Seating is limited.

For additional information contact Leigh Ann Ellislaellis55@aol.com, 214.395.1902

General Meeting: Presentation on Maddin Prairie

Tuesday, March 13, 6:30pm

Flag Pole classroom at The Point and Pavilion at C.C. Young Senior Living 
4847 W Lawther between Mockingbird and E Northwest Hwy Drive to the top of the hill and park.

A presentation on Maddin Prairie , a 1,114-acre NPAT property west of Abilene. Maddin Prairie Preserve is remnant and restored mixed-grass prairie, mesquite savanna, and riparian area.

A black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) reintroduction is in progress at Maddin featuring a colony of rescued animals. It also provides habitat for the Texas horned lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum), a threatened species in Texas, and bobwhite quail (Colinus virginianus).

Maddin photo album

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.

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

Schedule:

  • 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.

America’s Grasslands Conference

NPAT will be a part of the next America’s Grasslands Conference takes place November 14-16, 2017 in Fort Worth, Texas. It brings together researchers, natural resource professionals, farmers and ranchers, policy experts, and conservationists to discuss relevant issues related to the conservation of North America’s grasslands. More information here.

Photo by Chris Emory

Texas Society for Ecological Restoration: Resilience & Connectivity at Our Roots

November 10 – 12

Texas Society for Ecological Restoration connects researchers, practitioners, growers, land managers and teachers engaged in ecologically sensitive repair and management of ecosystems. Their annual TSER conference provides a great opportunity to learn what Texas restoration and conservation practitioners are doing in the field.

This year’s conference on Nov. 10 to 12 in Denton showcases the momentous work of Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area and the keynote speaker will be Dr. Ken Steigman of LLELA. The event includes in-depth guided explorations of LLELA, including kayaking on the Trinity River. In addition, there is a full array of talks, workshops, and a ranch grazing field trip.

Social opportunities abound at the TSER, including a BBQ at the LLELA prairie, nighttime starlight Student & Young Professional Roundtable, and an awards dinner.

Register here.