Nominations open for Fellows Awards

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Ron Loper presents Jane Crone with the Fellows Award for 2011

Ron Loper presents Jane Crone with the Fellows Award at the  2011 symposium in Houston (photo by Alan Middleton)

The Fellows Award is presented to a member, for work that enriches the Society at the state or chapter level. It is intended to recognize service to the Society and embodies “grass roots” recognition by members of our fellow members. Members determine the final outcome through the nomination and voting process.

Nominees must be members of the Native Plant Society of Texas for at least ten years as of last December 31 with a history of service to the Society at the state or chapter level, and must not have previously received a Fellows Award. In 2015, the Society can recognize two members with this award. Check a list of eligible members.

New procedures were adopted last year by the Awards Committee. The process now involves three steps:

  1. Members submit nominations using the online Fellows nomination form or send an email to awards@npsot.org. You can also mail a downloaded PDF form to “Fellows Nomination” at PO Box 3017, Fredericksburg, Texas, 78624-1929. Each member may nominate up to two fellow members, and your nomination may include a concise list of the nominee’s contributions to the Society. If your membership includes two or more persons, you may each submit two nominations. Your email or mail-in form must be postmarked no later than April 30.
  2. Publication of the nominees along with a list of their contributions will occur in the summer newsletter and via electronic means along with an announcement of the opening of the voting process.
  3. Voting will occur via electronic means and mail-in ballots. Electronic voting will close at midnight on September 1, and mail-in ballots must be post-marked no later than September 1. A winner must receive a minimum of 10 votes to be eligible.

Send nominations for our annual awards

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Nominations are now being accepted for the Native Plant Society of Texas annual awards for 2015.

Cynthia Maguire presents  author Jim Stanley with the Carroll Abbott Award at the 2012 symposium in Kerrville

Cynthia Maguire presents author Jim Stanley with the Carroll Abbott Award at the 2012 symposium in Kerrville

Each Fall the Society presents awards to recognize excellence in writing, acts of conservation and public service, and lifetime achievement in the field of Texas native plants. Nominations are made by members and chosen by an Awards Committee headed by Chair Kinda Knowles. The awards will be presented at a banquet during the Fall Symposium in October.

When submitting a nominee for one of these awards, please provide a brief, but thorough explanation of the nominee’s accomplishments that qualify them for the award.

Please click on awards nomination form to submit an online nomination. Nominations may also be submitted to awards@npsot.org.

The list of awards decided by the Awards Committee is as follows:

  • The Carroll Abbott Memorial Award is given for writings in the popular vein on Texas native plants. Named after the founder of the Society.
  • The Digital Media Award recognizes outstanding digital publications in the field of Texas native plants (distinguishes digital publications from printed publications)
  • The Donovan Stewart Correll Memorial Award is presented for scientific writing in the field of the native flora of Texas.
  • The Nancy Benedict Memorial Award honors an individual for a specific act of conservation or public service in the field of Texas native plants. This is neither a “joiner” nor a “lifetime of service” award.
  • The Native Star Award is given in recognition of a specific act or program of conservation/public service by an organization or agency in the field of Texas native plants (previously included as part of the Nancy Benedict Memorial Award)
  • The Charles Leonard Weddle Memorial Award is awarded for lifetime achievement in the field of Texas native plants.
  • The Lynn Lowrey Memorial Award is presented for horticultural achievement in the field of Texas native plants.

A list of previous award winners is here.

Second annual membership contest announced

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New Year’s Day will mark the beginning of a three-month chapter membership contest.

The chapter with the highest percentage increase and the chapter with the highest numerical increase will each be awarded a certificate. Every chapter with a membership increase will receive a recognition.

This is the second year for the contest. Last year the South Plains Chapter in Lubbock had a 29% increase in membership and the Austin Chapter added 19 members, while the Guadalupe County Chapter was runner-up in both categories.

Membership in the Native Plant Society of Texas is a great value, considering the benefits provided and the work the Society does to promote its mission. The contest is an incentive for members to spread the word and encourage others to get involved.

 

Planning starts for 2015 fall symposium

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The Society will hold its next fall symposium in Austin on October 15-18, 2015.

We have already signed a contract with the Airport Hilton. This convenient location is out of the I35 and downtown traffic mess. It will be easy to get to and from field trips and events. We will also be having one of our evening events at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

The Austin Chapter is inviting everyone to become involved with organizing the symposium. The first planning meeting will be Tuesday, November 11, at 6:30 pm at the Tarrytown United Methodist Church, which is at 2601 Exposition Blvd. in Austin. We will be in room 226 or 228 in the Educational Building, on the north end of the campus at McCullough and Spring Lane. Enter on McCullough. McCullough is one block north of Greenlee off of Exposition. The Educational Building is also called the Children’s Wing on the church campus map.

Our agenda for this meeting will be to identify who wants to do what; collect ideas for the theme of the symposium; and establish a schedule for planning.

It is never too early to get started.

Presidents Awards recognize achievement and service

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Although there are hundreds of members of the Society who deserve recognition, three were singled out for the President’s Award this year at our annual Awards Banquet on October 18, held this year at the Texarkana Convention Center

Carol Feldman

Carol Feldman

The Native Landscape Certification Program (NLCP) was created six years ago in San Antonio and almost immediately other chapters began saying they wanted the program too. Carol Feldman set out to bring the NLC Program to North Texas. She had a lot to do. First of all the classes had to be adapted to refer to the plants and the ecoregions of North Texas. In addition she had to sell the program to the chapters in North Texas. She built a coalition of seven chapters who jointly sponsored the classes and created a small committee to work on the adaptation. Those seven chapters represent almost a fourth of our chapters and more than a fourth of our total membership.

This year the NLC Program evolved into a state-wide program and is now offering classes in two more areas – Tyler and Georgetown. We usually talk about the program in terms of ecoregions, but if we think instead in terms of members served, it becomes apparent the classes are now available to over half of all our members, counting those who live within an easy commute.

This is a remarkable achievement in so short a time and a huge amount of the credit goes to Carol for her dedication to the Society and her hard work in seeing the project through.

Of course the program is bigger than just one person. Last year we recognized Melissa Miller for her vision in starting the program and her hard work in the early years in San Antonio. Carol had help also in North Texas. Most especially she had help in the form of Malinda Slagle. Malinda was the hugely efficient and organized coordinator of the North Texas program. Malinda has now left the program to follow her husband to a new job in St Louis.

Our third President’s Award this year goes to Sam Kieschnick of the Cross Timbers Chapter for his work in spear-heading our social media campaign for the last three years.

Social media are huge generators of publicity that we frequently dismiss or overlook. As our director of social media, Sam has increased the reach of our social media pages to almost 10,000 subscribers or fans. In fact a university seminar last year cited our use of Facebook as an example for other non-profits.

Our social media pages have become an educational tool for the general public, in addition to their role as publicity and outreach.