• Submit nominations for annual awards

    Send nominations for our annual awards
    Every year we recognize excellence in writing, acts of conservation and public service, and lifetime achievement in the field of Texas native plants. Awards will be presented in October during our annual symposium in Texarkana.

    Send your nominations now.

    You can also nominate deserving members for our Fellows Award.
       



  • Results of membership contest announced

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    The Native Plant Society concluded a three-month Chapter Membership Contest on April 1 and results were announced at the State Board Meeting in McKinney on Saturday.

    South Plains Chapter in Lubbock won first place for largest percentage increase in membership over the three month period. South Plains raised their membership from 17 to 22 for an increase of 29.4%.

    Honorable Mention certificates were awarded to Guadalupe Chapter which had an increase of 23% and Trinity Forks Chapter which had an increase of 17%. A Special Award was given to Austin Chapter for the largest numerical increase. Austin Chapter added 19 members.

    State-wide the number of memberships increased 3.5% during the course of the contest. Bill Hopkins, who chaired the committee which planned the contest, said that membership was at something of a high point for the last several years. However Society membership fluctuates considerably from month to month so it remains to be seen whether this represents a trend or is an outlying number. Typically the number of members tends to increase in the spring and fall months and to remain even or decline in the summer or winter.

    Several present at the meeting said that they hoped that the winning chapters would share the secrets of their success.

    Meg Inglis to coordinate landscape classes

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    The Native Plant Society has chosen Meg Inglis to be the coordinator for its Native Landscape Certification Project.

    Meg InglisMeg’s experiences and interests make her well-prepared for the role of coordinator. She has previously served as president and board member for the Austin Chapter and volunteers frequently on Society projects. She has been involved in several restoration projects in the area northwest of Austin. Her past work experience includes developing and implementing training materials in a corporate environment.

    “I am looking forward to assisting the Society in the roll out of this exciting program,” Meg said. “By landscaping with native plants, Texans can do their part in preserving natural habitats and conserving water during this critical time of rapidly increasing development and diminishing water resources.”

    We are extremely pleased to have Meg on board with this project and look forward to a mutually rewarding relationship. Carol Feldman, chair of the NLCP Steering Committee, said that many well-qualified candidates submitted applications, and that it was extremely difficult to select just one. The committee evaluated all applications before making their decision.

    The Society decided at the January State Board meeting to create landscape classes for homeowners and professionals across multiple regions of Texas, and to hire a coordinator to schedule the classes and help develop content. The program incorporates regional classes previously developed by chapters in San Antonio and Dallas/Ft Worth.

    We’re looking for writers

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    The Native Plant Society is looking for a few new writers for its website. Writing for us is a blast, but it also requires some skills. Here are the basics.

    • You enjoy learning about native plants, gardening with native plants, or the value of native plants to wildlife.
    • You can explain things to a beginner with clarity and ease.
    • You enjoy writing.
    • Keeping up with native plants is part of your average day.
    • Bonus points (but not required): You have graphics or video skills.
    • No knowledge of computers or coding is required.
    • And no, sorry, but right now we do not have funds to pay you.

    Send us an email to write@npsot.org. Include your story that you think fits with our site, or alternatively tell us what you would like to write about. We can give you an assignment if you don’t have something you would like to write about. Do not attach a resume.

    San Antonio group tackles invasives

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    The Balcones Invaders Satellite is a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens on a mission to change the landscape of Texas.

    Cheryl Hamilton, Lonnie Shockley and Judith Shockley presented a lively and inspiring message at the recent Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Council Conference in Aransas Pass. Titled “Stop the Spread, Spread the Word, Just Do It,” their presentation described a three-pronged program of outreach, education and eradication. They are members of our San Antonio and Boerne chapters.

    Balcones Invaders Satellite

    L to R: Judith Shockley, Cheryl Hamilton, Lonnie Shockley. Photo by Robert Kamper.

    Part of the Invaders of Texas program, the Balcones Invaders have held 16 workshops, trained 86 citizen scientists and written 50 articles while cutting down forests of nandina (Nandina domestica), giant reed (Arundo donax), and chinaberry (Melia azedarach) trees. They cover the area northwest of San Antonio, taking advantage of their work days to do outreach and publicity by bringing along a sign whenever they work in the field.

    Camaraderie, honesty and inspiration are three of their cornerstone values for recruiting and retaining volunteers. Add to this a consistent schedule (two hours every Tuesday), division of labor, clear communications, flexibility, autonomy and in the field training (no prior experience required) and they have a self-sustaining group consisting of Master Naturalists, Native Plant Society members and newly trained citizen scientists, as well as college students recruited by their professors.

    Outreach efforts include presentations to garden clubs, homeowner and neighborhood associations, Master Naturalists, Master Gardeners and Native Plant Society chapters, as well as articles in the newsletters for the Alamo Area Master Naturalists and Native Plant Society chapters. The Balcones Invaders get the word out through an email list and through the Master Naturalists website and the San Antonio and Boerne chapter websites.

    The three ended their presentation with this observation from Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”