The Native Plant Society of Texas recognized excellence in writing, acts of conservation and public service, and lifetime achievement in the field of Texas native plants during its annual symposium in Glen Rose on October 14-15.
Recipients were chosen by an awards committee consisting of Betsy Farris, Ron Loper, Joan Miller, Rhoda Poenisch, Theresa Thomas and committee chair Cecil Carter.
The awards are named in honor of early members of the Society. Learn about previous winners here.
The Carroll Abbott Memorial Award for writings in the popular vein on Texas native plants went to Mary Curry, author of North Central Texas Wildflowers Field Guide. Each species of plant has multiple photos of the features that identify them. Her goal was to capture what to look for to identify each species. Each plant has a blooming scale included at the top of each page and important points about each one listed at the bottom. She strived to photograph the parts of the almost 340 species so that you can use this for identification, not just a bunch of pretty flower pictures. She also references page numbers to the BRIT book Flora of North Central Texas.
Jason Singhurst, Ben Hutchins, and Dr. Walter C. Holmes
The Donovan Stewart Correll Memorial Award for scientific writing in the field of the native flora of Texas went to the three authors of Identifying Texas Milkweeds.
This booklet serves as a quick guide to the identification of milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) in Texas. Basic information such as range (county distribution), habitat, and key identification characteristics accompany a photograph of each species.
The publication can be downloaded in PDF format but is not sold in stores.
The Nancy Benedict Memorial Award recognizes specific acts of conservation/public service in the field of Texas native plants. The award was given to Marilyn Perz of Georgetown for her service in the past year, including
- Active involvement with the Williamson County Pollinator Garden, maintaining and improving a garden that is available for public tours, including school groups. There are several demonstration areas, such as rain water conservation.
- Marilyn is a leader for the native plant garden at the Georgetown Public Library, regularly maintaining a well-planned area readily visible to thousands of young library visitors. She also provided the library with a stand-alone display for Earth Week, needing to frequently resupply the handouts.
- She gave a Monarchs & Milkweeds presentation during the Taylor Garden Expo.
- For Pioneer Days at Old Settlers’ Park in Round Rock, she added flower pounding & sachet making to her classic wildflowers seed ball making.
- Seed ball making to benefit a local park meadow.
The Charles Leonard Weddle Memorial Award for lifetime achievement went to Suzanne Tuttle, who retired this summer as director of the Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge which is a 3,600 acre natural area comprised of forests, prairies, and wetlands allowing you to step back in time and experience what the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex was like in the early 20th century. Suzanne is also active with Texas Master Naturalists, Society for Ecological Restoration and other groups and is an instructor in our Native Landscaping Certification Program.
Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area
Our Native Star Award is given to an organization or agency for a specific act of conservation or public service. For the second time in three years the award was presented to the Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area; this time for hosting the 2016 Tandy Hills Bioblitz organized by Debora Young. A bioblitz is a collaborative effort to discover and record as many living things as possible in a given timeframe. The Tandy Hills Biolblitz was held over an intensive 36 hour time period, April 22-23 and had by far the largest group of participants of any previous bioblitz in Texas.
The Digital Media Award recognizes outstanding digital publications featuring Texas native plants. This year the award went to Michael Eason for Texas Flora, which is a Facebook group which shares information related to the flora of Texas. Group members may include images of species they’ve photographed and identified, images of species that need identified, information on reference material (links to books, journal articles etc), new species, range extensions, restoration projects, and native plant landscaping. Almost 3,500 people participate in the group, which greatly increases awareness of Texas native plants.