Please join us Tuesday, November 21st for our next Chapter meeting.  Our speaker will be Ed Travis, who will talk about the Restoration of the MBS/CC HOA Common Area Forest – a low budget volunteer-led effort to restore a neglected private neighborhood common area. It is a 13 acre natural area set aside in the early 1980s, just as protection of wildlife habitat was just becoming a topic of discussion, but before the Balcones preserve system was created.

Ed first became significantly involved with native plants when he reached out to NPSOT at a very critical point in his neighborhood’s history. A small group of neighbors were promoting the idea of clearing “weeds” (animal habitat) and developing a common area, but others in the community inspired him to consider maintaining the property in a low cost way as wildlife habitat. This enabled them to be “for” habitat preservation instead of just a bunch of whiners “against” development. With invaluable help from many in the NPSOT community they discovered they have a very unique and well preserved piece of Hill Country property with many rare plants, as well as a serious problem with exotic invasives. Ed took the NWF Habitat Stewards training, the NLCP Level 1 class, a WFC class on identifying exotic invasives, and spent hundreds of hours mapping and removing invasives from the property, as well as working with Keep Austin Beautiful, Austin Parks Foundation, CoA Utility department Watershed Protection Wildlands Divisions, the Wildflower Center, and anyone who is interested in helping.

Ed generously donates plants to NPSOT for the Spring and Fall Native Plant Sales at the Wildflower Center, to various schools, parks, and preserves, occasionally leads hikes in his common area.  He also organizes restoration planting events on the Last Sunday of each month from 2-4pm, and every Wednesday from 9-11am where volunteers are always welcome to come and help and learn.

The meeting is at 7:00 the administration building of Tarrytown United Methodist Church, 2531 Exposition Blvd., Austin. Arrive at 6:30 for snacks and seed exchange.