Capit-O-lize on Natives: Contributions, Challenges, Conservation

Austin and Williamson County Native Plant Societies of Texas (NPSOT) are hosting the annual state symposium giving attendees a wonderful chance to hear some great speakers and go on some once in a lifetime field trips. In addition to renowned plenary speakers, we have 20 break-out speakers on Saturday. And, you have a choice of field trips on Thursday afternoon, Friday afternoon and Sunday morning at no additional cost! We offer 37 guided field trips in total!

Dates: Oct 15-18, 2015

Location: Austin Bergstrum Hilton Hotel and field trips all over Central Texas

Take a look at our state NPSOT website for more information about the symposium: http://npsot.org/wp/symposium2015/
The complete symposium package for those who register prior to the end of September is $195 for Native Plant Society Members and $225 for non-members.
Country-Pasture

Texas Yuccas: Did you know that Texas and Mexico are the global center of diversity for yucca species? Dr. Karen Clary will give a presentation on the identification of yuccas, their natural history and biogeography, and tell you some fun facts about this remarkable group of plants.

Dr. Karen Clary, is the Senior Program Manager for the Plant Conservation Program at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

karenClary_Yucca

The August, 18 2015 meeting 7-9 PM will take place in 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. Arrive at 6:30 PM for snacks and seed exchange.

Forest Flora of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve with Bill Reiner, Endangered Species Biologist. The BCP protects a unique forest ecosystem as the home of the endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler.  A crossroads of plant and animal species of the eastern and western United States as well as Mexico, the Preserve is also home to several Texas-endemic plants.  Join us for a look at some of the special flora of this sanctuary of wild land within the Austin metropolitan area.

The June 16, 2015 meeting 7-9 PM will take place in 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. Arrive at 6:30 PM for snacks and seed exchange.

Due to Tropical Storm Bill, this meeting has been cancelled.   Bill Reiner’s talk will be rescheduled for a new July 21st meeting.

Two Guys Talk Trees” Certified arborists Guy LeBlanc and Jon Ogden discuss how to care for existing native trees in our landscapes. Topics include routine maintenance as well as tree pathology.

Guy LeBlanc is a second generation arborist who began his career in the mid-1970’s. He’s cared for trees in several states and on historical properties in Hawaii and Europe. Guy has owned and operated Arbor Vitae Tree Care here in Austin since 1983. Guy has provided tree care education for homeowners, college students, and professional arborists. Texas A&M University, Texas Forest Service, and the International Society of Arboriculture have sponsored his classes. Guy has also authored many articles on tree care for local, national, and international publications. He’s a former chairman of the City of Austin’s Urban Forestry Board.

Jon Ogden (along with Guy) was among the first 17 arborists to be certified in Texas. He has 28 years’ experience in tree care, consultation, and climbing. Clients have included he Capitol Annex, TXDOT, Seton Healthcare, First Unitarian Church, and numerous homeowners. A long-time member of the International Society of Arboriculture, Jon has completed over 275 hours of advanced coursework. For a time he served as the consulting arborist for the City of Rollingwood. Jon created guidelines for managing trees on city property and wrote educational materials. For 20 years, he’s been a small scale grower of less common native plant species. Jon is a Master Naturalist and has been a long-time member of the Austin NPSOT chapter.

The May 19, 2015 meeting 7-9 PM will take place in 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. Arrive at 6:30 PM for snacks and seed exchange.

OTS web photos Jan 2009 005

 

Small-Scale Land Restoration given  by Meg Inglis

Meg Inglis’ first land restoration project began 15 years ago when she and her husband built their home on a 2-acre parcel of land near Dripping Springs. Her knowledge of ecology and their decision to be solely dependent on a rainwater system, drove them to restore, not landscape their property. Learn about the process of this and other projects in the presentation: “Small-Scale Land Restoration.” Meg has a Bachelor’s in Biology and a Master’s in Public Administration. She has been a member of the Native Plant Society of Texas and the Texas Society for Ecological Restoration for many years.

The March 17, 2015 meeting 7-9 PM will take place in 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. Arrive at 6:30 PM for snacks and seed exchange.

MegInglis

Creating Abundance in Endangered Species Habitat at the Vireo Preserve, given by Jim O’Donnell

The land use history of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve has had a substantial impact on the health, viability, and diversity of our ecosystems. Borrowing techniques and designs from permaculture, forest gardening, natural farming, as well as traditional land management methods, we are restoring and creating habitat for the endangered black-capped vireo and golden-cheeked warbler. We are also reintroducing numerous rare and unusual plant species. Creating and restoring endangered species habitat requires focusing on the whole supporting community. Starting from the ground up, we begin with rebuilding soils, seeding broad areas to increase biodiversity, and promoting the regeneration of woody plants. We then design plant guilds to create a sustainable framework with the goal of developing vibrant, abundant, and complex systems. What’s really exciting about this work is that we can apply what we learn at the Vireo Preserve to other areas within and beyond the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve.

Jim has over 30 years’ experience monitoring endangered species in the Austin, Texas area, including color banding, monitoring plant communities, and conducting surveys of black-capped vireos and golden-cheeked warblers. He retired after 28 years of teaching science and environmental education in Dripping Springs in 2009. For the past 6 years, he has been designing and implementing habitat restoration on the City of Austin’s Vireo Preserve, which is part of the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve. Jim worked to get this 214-acre tract of land set aside in 1989 for what was at that time the largest concentration of black-capped vireos in Travis County. Jim was also a member of the Biological Advisory Team that provided the biological basis and support for the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve, a system of preserves established under a regional 10(a) permit designed to protect the endangered golden-cheeked warbler and black-capped vireo, six endangered karst invertebrates, 25 rare karst invertebrates, and 2 rare plants. He is currently working as a seasonal biologist for the City of Austin’s Wildland Conservation Division.

The February 17, 2015 meeting 7-9 PM will take place in 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. Arrive at 6:30 PM for snacks and seed exchange.

BCP

Building Prairies, Lawns and Meadows with Native Plants and Soil Microbes:
… at the George W Bush Presidential Library
… at the MD Anderson Cancer Center
Concerning the Erath County Prairie and Williamson County Pecan Understory, Betsy Ross says her job is to fix the soil, to return the soil to its functioning ecological state. Her expertise and favorite work is in restoring native pastures and prairies across Texas while engaging the use of ‘below-ground’ soil microbes.

Betsy is the CEO of Sustainable Growth Texas, LLC, a biological service company working throughout Texas and Partner in ‘Betsy Ross Grass-fed Beef’’ on the family farm east of Granger, Texas. She often speaks at ecological, natural growing events. Betsy holds an MBA from the University of Texas.

The January 20, 2015 meeting 7-9 PM will take place in 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. Arrive at 6:30 PM for snacks and seed exchange.

BetsyRoss_flowers BetstRoss_prairie

Maintenance of a Native Garden: While native Texas plants have a reputation for survivability, a little maintenance goes a long way in keeping your plants healthy and happy. Meredith O’Reilly discusses how to care for different types of plants over the four seasons, as well as strategies to prevent issues and minimize maintenance. We encourage audience participation – you are invited to share own experiences throughout the presentation.

An avid wildlife gardener, NPSOT member Meredith O’Reilly is also a National Wildlife Federation Habitat Steward Host, 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, for which Meredith received NPSOT’s 2014 Digital Media Award.

The November meeting 7-9 PM will take place in 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. Arrive at 6:30 PM for snacks and seed exchange.

Gardening with Deer in Mind

deer at stillhouse

Expand your plant palette with certain native plants that are generally avoided by our abundant deer. Learn about plant characteristics that deer find less palatable, and tactics that will contribute to your gardening success.  Audience participation will be encouraged.

Our speaker will be Jane Tillman,  a Capital Area Master Naturalist  and Habitat Steward who gardens in spite of the deer in her Best of Texas Backyard Wildlife Habitat in NW Hills.

Jane is an active member of the Travis Audubon Society, a Capital Area Master Naturalist and a National Wildlife Federation Habitat Steward Host. She is the president of the Austin Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas.

Jane was recognized by the four-million-member National Wildlife Federation as the 2011 Volunteer of the Year for her work training more than one hundred Habitat Stewards to create backyard wildlife habitat here in Austin. She was active in the effort to certify Austin as an NWF Community Wildlife Habitat in 2009. Jane teaches beginning backyard birding classes, leads field trips and gives talks about Central Texas birds to garden clubs, neighborhood associations, libraries, and the University of Texas continuing education programs. She gardens for wildlife, and was fortunate to have a rare Green Violetear hummingbird visit her yard in 2008.

The September meeting 7-9 PM will take place in 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. Arrive at 6:30 PM for snacks and seed exchange.

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