Natives in the News

Next Meeting

Saturday, October 28, 2017 — 2:00 pm at the Janet F. Harte Public Library in Flour Bluff. A speaker from the Texas Forest Service will talk about Trees after Harvey—how to care for trees we may be able to save and what to plant to replace lost trees. The Water Wise Garden Tour at UTMSI, Port Aransas has been postponed until April 2018 because of work needed after Hurricane Harvey.

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Field Trip Report

We had a great field trip to Rancho Lomitas on Saturday, March 18. The excursion included:

  • a 2-hour tour of the ranch led by ethnobotanist Benito Trevino to learn about many of the native plants of deep south Texas and their uses
  • a native-plant cooking demonstration by Toni Trevino
  • the opportunity to buy hard-to-find native plants from their nursery

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Report: Outreach at Aransas National Wildlife Refuge Pollinator Garden

Members staffed a booth at Refuge Day October 15 in conjunction with the Grand Opening of the new Pollinator Garden at the Refuge. The garden was designed by STX member Ellen Reisinger and Linda Frank and is maintained by volunteers from Friends of Aransas and Matagorda Island (FAMI), Mid-Coast Texas Master Naturalists, and South Texas Chapter NPSOT members. The garden was alive with butterflies and other pollinators, and our outreach booth staffers answered questions and handed out literature about native plants, pollinators, and NPSOT.

Report: Butterfly Tent at HummerBird Celebration, Rockport

South Texas NPSOT Outreach September 16-18, 2016 was a great success. Members answered questions about plants and Monarchs and enjoyed their volunteer time. Rhoda Poenisch reported that visitors were more engaged than in 2015; asking intelligent questions and learning about natives and butterflies. Volunteers were impressed with how quickly the butterflies found the Texas Kidneywood lent to us by the Mid-Coast Master Naturalist plant sale volunteers, how much they used it, and how reluctant they were to leave it after the butterfly release.

Our South Texas Chapter is taking on the HBC Butterfly Tent as an official outreach project each year, beginning now. It’s the perfect opportunity to tell people about native plants and their partnership with butterflies. Come help next year and enjoy it with us!

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2016 South Texas Chapter Activity

Each year, the State NPSOT office requests that each chapter report activities during the fiscal year ending September 1. Here’s our South Texas Chapter report for August 31, 2015 to September 1, 2016.

Educational Programs, Workshops, Seminars

October 10, 2015—Monarch Workshop: Cathy Downs gave a 3-hour presentation on Monarch butterflies and waystations at the AgriLife Extension Office, 892 Airport Road, Rockport, TX 78382. About 65 people attended. A $5 registration fee was charged, and donated to the Monarch Watch program in honor of speaker Cathy Downs.

January 23, 2016—Shelly Maher of the Kika de la Garza Plant Materials Center gave a presentation on the purpose of the PMC (research and development that leads to native seeds becoming commercially available). She followed that with a workshop on propagating native plants from seed, division, and cuttings. Twenty-one people attended and participated in the workshop.

March 12, 2016—Native Landscape Certification Program Level 1 Workshop—presented by the South Texas Chapter at Oso Bay Wetlands Preserve, Corpus Christi. Twenty-nine individuals attended, 7 of whom work in a professional landscaping capacity. Kay Jenkins of TPWD and Meg Inglis, NLCP Coordinator, facilitated the workshop.

April 23, 2016—Forrest Smith, director of the South Texas Natives Project at the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, spoke on “The South Texas Natives Project – Taking native seeds from a handful to a landscape impact.” Twelve people attended.

July 23, 2016—Ernie Schertz presented “Native Beauty in Your Backyard” about landscaping with natives plants. Twenty-two people attended.

February 10 & August 20—At the request of the South Texas Botanical Gardens, Kris Kirkwood presented “Plants That Run Amok” about replacing invasive exotic plant species with native alternatives.

Field Trips

No field trips were conducted.

Community Outreach

March 10, 2016—Ana Abarca and Rhoda Poenisch gave 30-minute native-plant presentations to several classes at the Mireles Elementary Science Spectacular and recommend continuing to support such educational events.

April 9, 2016—Ana Abarca, Marthanne Mitchell, and Rhoda Poenisch staffed a NPSOT outreach booth at Corpus Christi’s Earth Day/Bay.


No fundraisers were conducted.

Other Activities

April 6—Three members assisted USFWS personnel in conducting a Black lace Cactus (Echinocereus reichenbachii) Rare Plant Survey on private property.

Ellen Reisinger, South Texas NPSOT member, designed a Pollinator Garden for the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge has installed her design.

Future Plans

The South Texas Chapter has volunteered to staff a Monarch Butterfly Exhibit at the Hummer/Bird Celebration in Rockport this September. We plan on making this an annual outreach event.

The chapter is committed to conduct another NLCP 1 as well as an NLCP 2 this coming year.

Ray Kirkwood,
President, South Texas Chapter

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Native Plant Society of Texas—State News

Need to Contact the South Texas Chapter?
President Ray Kirkwood