Field Trip

The Austin chapter of NPSOT will conduct a field trip to Bright Leaf Preserve on Saturday, May 3, led by Bright Leaf docent Bill Dodd.

Bright Leaf is a beautiful, unspoiled 216-acre nature preserve tucked away in the center of Austin, just south of RM 2222 and between Hwy 360 and Mopac.  The undeveloped land was acquired by Georgia Lucas in order to preserve it for future generations to appreciate and enjoy the natural features that it exhibits:  geology, plants (including the rare Bracted twistflower), birds (including the endangered Golden-cheeked warbler, who will be singing now), mammals, reptiles & amphibians, and countless species of the invertebrate world.  In the 1990’s it was put under the protection of TPWD management and is now owned by the Austin Community Foundation.  This private foundation is committed to maintaining the area and upholding the Lucas will.

Please contact Jackie Davis to register for this trip:

This field trip will take you behind the scenes at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center so you can learn more about the research involved in developing HABITURF™.   Discussions will be led by Wildflower Center staff and Stephen Scace, who gave a presentation on HABITURF™ for our January meeting. Stephen will also lead us on a hike to the new Arboretum area.

DATE:         Saturday, March 22, 2014.
TIME:          1:00 pm.
LOCATION:  Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in front of the cafe.


Two field trips (Saturdays March 31 and April 7) are coming up soon! Also, the second meeting of Flo’s plant taxonomy class  will be Saturday, April 21st.


Tour of Willowbrook Reach

Who knew about these backyard gems?

Willowbrook Reach, a half-mile stretch of Upper Boggy Creek in the Cherrywood neighborhood of East Austin, offered a great example of what a community can do to restore habitat along a creekbed.  David Boston, of Friends and Lovers of Willowbrook Reach, and Staryn Wagner of the City’s Watershed Dept., met about 15 NPSOTers for the low-down and tour.

Remember the old airport?

The pond at Mueller Prairie - onetime parking lot for Austin's old airport!

We then had a great visit to Mueller Prairie, just a few blocks away, to see a larger-scale, work-in-progress in re-establishing short and tall grass prairies right here in the city.  Janelle Dozier, of Friends of the Prairie, as well as many prairie birds–meadowlarks, scissortails and snowy egrets–were there to greet us.

Hiking at Doeskin Ranch by Lisa Spangler
Hiking on October 3, 2010 at Doeskin Ranch by Lisa Spangler

Fall is here!  It’s a busy time, so we have no chapter meeting at Wild Basin this month.  There are two other BIG events that I’d like to remind everyone of though:

October 9-10, with Members Only Preview on October 8: Fall Plant Sale and Gardening Festival at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. There are cool plants to purchase plus many fun activities planned for kids and adults alike. The chapter will have a booth as usual.  David Heberling is still looking for volunteers.  You can give him a call at 922-3744.

October 7-10: State Symposium in Denton, TX. Save Texas One Landscape at a Time: Our Native Plants Light the Future. Whether you come for just a day or the whole weekend, this year’s symposium looks to be an exciting one!  Keynote speakers are J. David Bamberger, Jill Nokes, and Doug Tallamy. There are also great presentations, workshops, and field trips.

Happy fall,


Springtime on Simpson Prairie by Lisa Spangler

When: Saturday, May 15th, 9:00am-11am
Where: Crawford, TX (McLennan County, south of Waco)

Come see spring prairie wildflowers and emerging native grasses at Simpson Prairie, a terrific tallgrass prairie remnant protected by owner Mike Williams and NPAT. Field trip leaders are owner Mike Williams and Lisa and Jason Spangler.  An optional nearby seed collection trip may follow (plants permitting.)

Simpson Prairie is an outstanding example of rare Texas tallgrass prairie, of which less than 1% out of the original 20 million acres now remains. See an incredible part of Texas’ natural heritage in bloom after the abundant rain this winter and spring!

Mike harvests seed from Simpson Prairie and uses the seed when planting Laura Bush’s prairie at nearby Prairie Chappel Ranch. Mike will talk about his management and restoration at Simpson Prairie and his restoration work at Prairie Chappel Ranch as we walk the prairie and identify native plants.

We will meet at the parking lot at southeast corner of the main Crawford intersection (FM 185 and 317) at 9:00am, and we will car pool to Simpson Prairie from the parking lot. Click here for directions from Google Maps.

Please RSVP and provide contact information (phone number and email address) in case of a rain-out or other updates.

The field trip is limited to 20 attendees. Wear appropriate clothing, and bring water, sunscreen, and a snack (or have lunch in Crawford.)

RSVP to Lisa Spangler by emailing or calling at 512-736-5553.

Winecup - photo by Lisa Spangler

Date: Sunday, April 11th
Time: 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Where: At southwest corner of Brodie Lane and Slaughter Lane, Austin, TX

Come see what’s blooming and growing at Brodie Wild!

Join local plant experts Bob and Sirpa Harms in identifying the native plants at Brodie Wild. This is a 4 acre City of Austin water quality protection property with quite a diversity of plant life. Be prepared to walk through tall grass, trails are limited.

For more information on the property, check out the web site at   Get directions from Google Maps by clicking here.

Contact Kirsti Harms at 512-296-9160 or email for more information about the walk.

Baker Family Cabin (John Wilcox)

TAS (Travis Audubon Society) Baker Sanctuary in Leander

Saturday, February 27, 2010, 1 – 3 pm (Arrive by 12:45 pm)

Directions to the Baker Sanctuary

Come hike the Baker Sanctuary with Austin and Williamson County Native Plant Societies. The 690 acre Sanctuary,  part of the Balcones Canyonlands Conservation Plan, was established to protect the Golden Cheeked Warbler. Wear close-toed shoes. Bring field guides, water. Registration or RSPV is not required. Contact Kathy McCormack with questions: 698-9880 or

Hello everyone, and welcome to the new NPSOT Austin chapter website!  We currently have meeting information for you for the next several months — check out “Meeting & Events” tab at the top.   We’ll soon be adding more, including:

  • A list of Austin-area nurseries that carry native plants
  • The Brodie Wild, Travis County Flora, and Pflugerville Bridge projects
  • A list of helpful links
  • Plant of the Month
  • Plant rescues and other volunteer opportunities
  • Field trips

Stay tuned,