Around the Region-Updated 2/13/2019
Check back often to read about our wonderful adventures around the region!
Native Texas Park
February 13, 2019
Charles, Greg, and Tina enjoyed a tour through the 15-acre park on the grounds of the Bush Center from Ms. Lois Riggs, a docent of the Bush Library. The park features over 53 species of Native Blackland Prairie grasses and seasonal wildflowers. Lois took the group on a walk along the 1-mile long trail that winds through the park and described the history of the park and the President and Mrs. Bush’s longstanding commitment to environmental conservation and restoration.
Nature Walk at the Colony Shoreline Trail
January 26, 2019
Greg Tonian and Tina Rust led a nature walk along The Shoreline Trail, a 3.5 mile partial loop around Lake Lewisville in The Colony, Tx. It was a beautiful winter day out there and the birds were very active. The following species were sighted:
Northern Cardinal Carolina Chickadee White winged Dove Great Blue Heron American Coot Black Vulture Mockingbird Blue Jay White-throated Sparrow Ruby crowned Kinglet Double crested Cormorant Pied billed Grebe
Fire Ecology Field Trip to Ray Roberts Lake State Park
September 29, 2018
The Fort Worth Chapter of Native Prairies Association of Texas (NPAT) and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) hosted a field trip at Ray Roberts Lake State Park in Valley View, Texas to talk about the role of fire ecology in native prairie and how the state park is using prescribed fire to improve and maintain their prairie habitat. TPWD staff, Daniel Rios and Rick Torres, described their prescribed burning techniques and the tools and safety equipment they used to set and control the fires in 7 burn units across the park. TPWD has a dedicated unit of firefighters, many of which are stationed at local parks across the state of Texas. Ray Roberts has 7 certified firefighters on staff. They are trained to control wildfires as well as prescribed burns. They took a group of about 25 to the designated burn units in the park to see the results of recent burning. Participants discussed the effects of the prescribed burns on the native prairie species and how burning is being used to control the invasive species, particularly King Ranch blue stem. Native plants identified during a walk through their pocket prairie were partridge pea, frostweed, blazing star, and sedge within a woodland of mostly post oak with scattered mesquite and honey locust.
American Prairie Corridor at Clymer Meadow Preserve
September 22, 2018
We enjoyed a rain-filled tour of the Clymer Meadow Preserve in Celeste, Tx. with members of the Fort Worth Native Prairie Association of Texas and other brave souls. The tour was led by Brandon Belcher with the Nature Conservancy of Texas.
Attending the 2nd Annual P.O.N.D. Community Nature Expo
July 28, 2018
Our President, Charles Neel and Vice President, Tina Rust attended the 2nd annual Community Nature Expo. Held at the Dallas Public Library, an assortment of community, educational, and public involvement groups set up booths to talk to visitors about all the nature-oriented activities they had going on in the area.
Driving the Corridor 🌻 Coleman to Albany, TX
June 24, 2018
On Thursday, drove from Dallas out to Abilene, TX to attend the Big Country Master Naturalist monthly meeting in Abilene and then drive a potential route of the Corridor from Coleman to Albany, Tx. along US 283. The first stop was the Abilene visitor center to pick up a lot of maps of the area and talk with the center’s guide about local sights and events over the weekend. Strongly advised to go see the Fort Griffin "Fandangle" in Albany, a unique weekend performance that the people of Albany put on nightly beneath the summer stars of Texas during the last two weeks of June.
That evening, attended the Big Country Chapter Master Naturalist meeting in Abilene. The guest speaker was Ethan McJames, a soil scientist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). He talked about all the projects they had going on around the area and potential volunteer opportunities for the chapter members.
On Friday, headed east from Abilene to Baird, Texas, then turned north toward Albany to drive the Corridor. Saw miles and miles of Mesquite trees, cacti, huge ranches with prominent gates, large transmission line and pipeline corridors, and miles of solar farms.
Stopped for lunch at the Beehive restaurant for lunch (http:// www.beehivesaloon.com) and heard more about the Fort Griffin Fandangle (http://www.fortgriffinfandangle.org) that was being performed that evening in Fort Griffin, just outside of town. After finishing the fieldwork and driving back to Abilene, headed out to Fort Griffin to watch the amazing Fandangle, with over 250 local performers singing, dancing, and performing at this event’s 80th-year celebration.
"That was the biggest...gal-durned rattlesnake ever seen by mortal eyeballs…" - Performer in Fort Griffin Fandangle
On Saturday, drove south from Baird toward Coleman. Along this portion of the Corridor, saw unending Mesquite trees lining the roadway, interspersed with a few wide open fields, ranch gated entrances, and utility corridors.
American Prairie Corridor at EarthX 2018
April 19-22, 2018
In April, we were invited to be part of the EarthX event held at Fair Park in Dallas on April 19-22, 2018. During this 3-day event, over 100,000 people attended the largest annual environmental conference in the world. We set up our booth in the Centennial building and talked to lots of families, environmental groups, and school groups about prairie restoration and APCorr.
We had our mailing list ready for people to sign up and promoted the event on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We even got 6 new members! During the event, we were also given the opportunity to sponsor and promote one of the EarthX films called Bird of Prey about conservation of the endangered Philippine Eagle. Our executive director Charles Neel, talked to the audience about the Corridor before the showing of the film.