The meeting from 7–9 PM on May 20 of the Austin chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will include as its main presentation “Ancient People, Ancient Plants, Central Texas: Things We Know and How We Know Them.” The presenter, Dr. Leslie L. Bush, has this to say about the topic:

“The Central Texas plants we enjoy today have been used for food, medicine, and crafts for millennia by the Native people of Texas. Written accounts by Spanish missionaries and European explorers, Native oral traditions, and archeological investigations provide windows into the many fascinating uses of our Texas native plants.  I’ll discuss some of our more common plants — sumac, juniper,  switchgrass, prickly pear — as well as some very important but lesser-known plants such as little barley and camas.”

Leslie L. Bush is a paleoethnobotanist, an archeologist who specializes in identifying bits of plants preserved on archeological sites, usually in the form of charcoal. She received her Ph.D. from Indiana University in 2001, and her dissertation was published by the University of Alabama Press. She has worked on sites in thirteen states including Maryland, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, and of course Texas. Leslie is currently involved with excavations by the Arkansas Archeological Society in the Ouachita National Forest, Texas Archeological Society investigations near Columbus, and Texas State University’s Ancient Southwest Texas Project near Comstock. She once found a prickly pear seed on a 600-year-old site near Indianapolis.

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The May 20th meeting will take place at our new and more central location: the administration building of the Tarrytown United Methodist Church, 2601 Exposition Blvd., Austin, TX 78703. The administration building is on the southeast corner of Greenlee and Exposition. There is parking in the garage, which also has an elevator. You can enter the garage from Greenlee; look for the signs leading you to the second-floor meeting room.

As usual, we will also have a seed exchange.

The meeting from 7–9 PM on April 15 of the Austin chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will be a potluck and open forum with State NPSOT Chapter Liaison Dennis Perz. After a delicious potluck plan to stay and brainstorm ways to improve our chapter’s effectiveness.

The potluck supper will be at our new and more central location: the administration building of the Tarrytown United Methodist Church, 2601 Exposition Blvd., Austin, TX 78703. The administration building is on the southeast corner of Greenlee and Exposition. There is parking and an elevator in the garage, which can be entered from Greenlee. Look for the signs leading you to the second-floor meeting room.

Given our new location at the church, we will not be serving alcoholic beverages, so bring something else good to eat or drink and share.

As usual, we will also have a seed exchange.

 

The March 18th chapter meeting will take place 7–9 PM in our new and more central location: the administration building of the Tarrytown United Methodist Church, 2601 Exposition Blvd., Austin, TX 78703. The administration building is on the southeast corner of Greenlee and Exposition. There is parking and an elevator in the garage, which can be entered from Greenlee. Look for the signs leading you to the second-floor meeting room.

The topic for the March 18th meeting is The Four Seasons of Wildlife Gardening.
Guiding from spring through winter, Meredith O’Reilly will show you which native Texas plants are in bloom, producing seeds, or providing fruit, along with what’s happening simultaneously in the wildlife world. Along the way she will provide additional tips for creating an outstanding and ever-active wildlife garden that draws birds, pollinators, and other desired wildlife year-round.

An avid wildlife gardener, Meredith O’Reilly is also a National Wildlife Federation Habitat Steward Host, NPSOT member, Capital Area Master Naturalist, and Travis Audubon committee member. She greatly enjoys teaching and writing about native flora and fauna, as well as protecting the ecosystem through thoughtful gardening. She writes about her wildlife gardening experiences at her blog, Great Stems.

Doors open at 6:30 PM for socializing. Snacks will be provided. Nonmembers welcome; free admission.

Remember to bring:
(1) seeds to exchange and give away;
(2) mystery plants for identification.

For further information, contact Phyllis Schunck at (512) 472-2086 in Austin.

This field trip will take you behind the scenes at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center so you can learn more about the research involved in developing HABITURF™.   Discussions will be led by Wildflower Center staff and Stephen Scace, who gave a presentation on HABITURF™ for our January meeting. Stephen will also lead us on a hike to the new Arboretum area.

DATE:         Saturday, March 22, 2014.
TIME:          1:00 pm.
LOCATION:  Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in front of the cafe.

The February 18th chapter meeting will take place 7–9 PM in our new and more central location: the administration building of the Tarrytown United Methodist Church, 2601 Exposition Blvd., Austin, TX 78703. The administration building is on the southeast corner of Greenlee and Exposition. There’s parking and an elevator in the garage, which can be entered from Greenlee.

The topic for the meeting is “Post-wildfire Ecology and Restoration of Bastrop State Park” by Greg Creacy, who will present an overview of the challenges and considerations of restoring Bastrop State Park in the aftermath of the September 2011 Bastrop County Complex wildfire.

Greg Creacy obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Conservation at Southeast Oklahoma State University and a Master of Science degree in Biology at Sam Houston State University.  His thesis research involved ponderosa pine forest restoration to benefit wildlife in northern Arizona.  Greg worked as a wildlife technician and research assistant for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, Texas Research Institute for Environmental Studies and US Forest Service prior to employment with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD).  He has spent the past 17 years with TPWD managing and conserving natural resources on public and private lands within multiple ecoregions of Texas.  Greg currently works as a Natural Resources Coordinator for the State Parks Division of TPWD, where he coordinates natural resource monitoring, restoration, management and research for 17 state parks within central Texas.

Doors open at 6:30 PM for socializing. Snacks will be available then and after the presentation. Nonmembers welcome; free admission.

Remember to bring:
(1) seeds to exchange and give away;
(2) mystery plants for identification.

For further information, contact Phyllis Schunck at (512) 472-2086 in Austin.

The January 21st chapter meeting will include a presentation by Stephen Scace on the native grass mixture known as HABITURF™, developed by The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center for dry regions of Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona. HABITURF™ is a mix of Bouteloua dactyloides (buffalograss), Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama), Hilaria belangeri (curly-mesquite), and other native species. As a replication of nature’s shortgrass prairies, it requires less mowing, watering and weeding than domestic turfgrasses. Tuesday night’s presentation will show how to create a native lawn and will take a look at the science behind it.

Stephen Scace is a volunteer docent–and the son of a 20-year volunteer–at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, where he helps maintain trails and wild lands, assists with research projects, and guides tours. He is particularly interested in the Center’s work restoring and creating native ecosystems, and really likes native grasses.

Please note that this January 21st meeting will take place at the familiar time of 7–9 PM but in a new and more central location: Tarrytown United Methodist Church, 2601 Exposition Blvd., Austin, TX 78703. We will meet in the administration building just across Greenlee St. on the south side of the church campus at the corner of Greenlee and Exposition. There’s parking and an elevator in the garage off Greenlee.

Doors open at 6:30 PM for socializing. Snacks will be available then and after the presentation. Nonmembers welcome; free admission.

Remember to bring:
(1) seeds to exchange and give away;
(2) mystery plants for identification.

For further information, contact Phyllis Schunck at (512) 472-2086 in Austin.

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Stephen Scace

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our next chapter event will be the annual holiday potluck and silent auction on Tuesday, December 17th, at 7 PM at Wild Basin. Please bring a dish and/or beverages to share.

In addition to the common meal, we’ll have a silent auction and plant show-and-tell during dinner. If you have items you no longer need but which might be of interest to NPSOT members, please donate them to the silent auction — and bring cash or a checkbook so you can bid on others’ items!

You’re also invited to bring photos (on a flashstick or CD) of the most interesting or unusual plants you’ve seen this year and any plant questions you might want to pose to the group.

The dinner line will open at 7pm sharp!

The presentation at the November 19, 2013, meeting of the Austin chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will be:

“Some Highlights in the Flora of the Eocene Sands of Central Texas,” by Bill Carr.

Summary:

The Eocene Sands is an informal name for portions of several geologic formations that underlie the Post Oak Belt of the eastern half of Texas.  The Carrizo Sand is the most famous of those formations, but the region’s deep, loose sandy soils also develop over certain strata of the Queen City, Sparta and other formations.  These Eocene sands are home to scores of plant species that are endemic to Texas, more in fact than any other natural region except the Edwards Plateau.  This presentation will involve an overview of the geology, soils, and endemic plant species of the Eocene Sands, along with a discussion of changes in the flora of the region’s most famous public area, Bastrop State Park, following the Bastrop Complex Fire of fall 2011.

Bill Carr spent 23 years working as a botanist for the Texas Natural Heritage Program, first with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and later with The Nature Conservancy of Texas.  During that time he was lucky enough to spend a lot of time in the field in all parts of Texas.  He is currently unemployed but will work for food.

Meeting details:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013, 7-9 PM at Wild Basin Preserve, 805 N. Capital of TX Highway (Loop 360), Austin, 78746.
Doors open at 6:30 PM for socializing. Snacks will be available then and after the presentation. Nonmembers welcome; free admission.

Remember to bring:
(1) seeds to exchange and give away;
(2) mystery plants for identification.

For further information, contact Phyllis Schunck at (512) 472-2086 in Austin.

The topic for the September monthly meeting of the Austin chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas is:

Spring Bloomers—Care & Feeding.

Summary:  We’ve modeled this presentation on our recent semi-annual programs addressing seasonal-blooming plants. Paul Montgomery will moderate an open-forum discussion about the planting and maintenance of native plants in a garden: soil, sun/shade exposure, moisture, site selection, drought challenges, deer-resistance, etc. Bring your experience, questions, and notebooks. If your problem plant or site isn’t on our list, ask anyway. Challenge our rich experiential brain trust.

Meeting details:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013, 7-9 PM at Wild Basin Preserve, 805 N. Capital of TX Highway (Loop 360), Austin, 78746.
Doors open at 6:30 PM for socializing, munching, and general good fun.  Nonmembers welcome; free admission.

Remember to bring:
(1) seeds to exchange and give away;
(2) mystery plants for identification.

For further information, contact Phyllis Schunck at (512) 472-2086 in Austin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The presentation at the August 20, 2013, meeting of the Austin chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will be “Cacti & Succulents of Central Texas” by Jeff Pavlat.

Summary
The one-hour program will consist of habitat photos and commentary about native cacti and other succulents at several sites around Central Texas, mostly to the west of Austin on the escarpment. Although more scarce to the east, occurrences in that direction will also be described.

Jeff Pavlat has always liked desert plants but became more interested as he began to landscape his home thirteen years ago. Like many Centex residents, he searched for plants which needed minimal water and wouldn’t be eaten overnight by deer. Cacti and succulents worked perfectly. While searching for suitable plants, he discovered the diversity of amazing succulents from around the world. Soon hooked, he built his first greenhouse. He currently works part time at Oracle Gorge, a small cactus and succulent nursery in Westlake Hills. His Austin hillside garden extensively features this plant group and has become a favorite stop on several local garden tours. Jeff has traveled throughout the southwestern United States chasing plants in habitat. In 2012, he made his first trip to South Africa.

Biography
Jeff received a BFA in Studio Art from the University of Texas with an emphasis on graphic design, photography, and printmaking. Later, he worked as a graphic designer and design manager at National Instruments in Austin until his son was born in 2003. He subsequently left his desk job to focus first on raising his son and then later on his plants as well. He currently serves as Vice President of Education for the Austin Cactus and Succulent Society and and in the past was society president and newsletter editor. A member of the Horticulture Committee at Zilker Botanical Garden, Jeff also serves on the board of directors of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America. He lives in Austin with his partner and son.

Meeting details
Tuesday, August 20, 2013, 7-9 pm at Wild Basin Preserve, 805 N. Capital of TX Highway (Loop 360), Austin, 78746. Doors open at 6:30 pm for socializing, munching, and general good fun. Nonmembers welcome; free admission.

Remember to bring
(1) seeds to exchange and give away;
(2) mystery plants for identification.

For further information, contact Mike Powers at 512-453-2289 in Austin.

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