Meeting


Please join us Tuesday, February 20, 2018 for our next Chapter meeting.  Join us for a panel discussion on SOIL (don’t call it dirt!).  We’ll learn what dirt is and how it differs from soil, the basics of vital soil, and how we can improve the soil we have. We’ll also discuss/share soil successes and answer your specific questions.  Bonus – We will also have handouts of several successful Central Texas Soil Recipes so you can then “cook up” your own soil!

Our panel of experts include George Altgelt, a soil expert at GeoGrowers, David Heberling from Prairiewood Landscaping, and Paul Montgomery and Ed Travis who are NPSOT Austin Chapter members and Growers for our plant sales.

“…there are more kinds and numbers of minute livestock hidden in the shallows and depths of an acre of soil than ever walk the surface of that field.” Attributed to Charlie Walters, editor of Acres U.S.A.  Secrets of the Soil, Peter Tomkins & Christopher Bird

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

Due to inclement weather we had to cancel this past Tuesday, but were able to reschedule for next week! Please join us Tuesday, January 23, 2018 for our next Chapter meeting.  Our speaker will be Dr. Karen Clary who will help us answer the question “Should we sell endangered plants at native plant sales?”  Does making endangered plants available for sale to the public help save the species, or does it do more harm than good?  Dr. Karen Clary will discuss the pros and cons in the context of current laws and species recovery efforts.

Dr. Karen Clary has Doctorate in botany from University of Texas, where she studied the speciation patterns biogeography of yuccas in the deserts of Mexico and the United States. Karen has worked in Texas plant conservation for the past couple of decades and recently retired from her position as Director of the Plant Conservation Program at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, Austin.

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

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 p.m.in the administration building of Tarrytown United Methodist Church, 2531 Exposition Blvd., Austin. Arrive at 6:30 for snacks and seed exchange.

Please join us Tuesday, September 19th for our next Chapter meeting.  Our speaker will be Nico Hauwert PhD, Professional Geoscientist, who will talk about “The influence of groundwater on the native landscape.”  Dr. Hauwert will discuss the historical widespread filling of caves and cave ecosystems in Central Texas (including historical Austin Caverns on nearby Meredith Drive), their restoration and influence on groundwater flow and recharge.

Nico’s career in unraveling the mysteries of the underground frontier began through cave exploreing since 1979. He previously served as both President and Vice President for the Austin Geological Society, completed his Ph.D. dissertation in May 2009 from the University of Texas, received an M.S. in Geology from Univ. of Toledo Dept of Geology in 1991, and obtained a B.S. in Geology from University of Texas in 1984. From 1993-2000 he started groundwater tracing studies as Assessment Program manager and senior hydrogeologist for the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District. During that time he managed and led tours in Whirlpool and Lost Oasis Caves as a volunteer for Texas Cave Management Association. From 2000 to October 2016 he served as environmental scientist senior for City of Austin Watershed Protection Department, managing various cave restoration projects. He currently manages the Balcones Canyonland Preserve Program for Austin Water and teaches classes on geology and caves at Concordia University.

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

Please join us Tuesday, August 15th for our next Chapter meeting.  Our speaker will be Minnette Marr, who will talk about “Uses of the LBJ Wildflower Center’s seed bank.”  Minnette will touch on the past and current uses of the seed bank, as well as, describe and propose potential uses.  Minnette will invite us to collaborate with the seed bank program to better structure our seed collection efforts, and to germinate and grow out particular seeds as a group for the many varied restoration projects that at least several of us are engaged.  If there is a particular species or two that you are trying to find a seed source for, email Minnette [mmarr@wildflower.org]  by August 10, and if she has any that she can share, she will bring them with her to the meeting.

 Minnette is originally from Trinity River Watershed on the Texas Blackland Prairie (Dallas) and studied at Texas State University obtaining her M.S.  in Biology.  Minnette’s academic studies focused on floristic diversity of plant communities in Central Texas.  She has been with the LBJ Wildflower Center since October 2005 working on a variety of projects for the Millennium Seed Bank, U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Center for Plant Conservation and Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.  She currently collaborates with volunteers and landowners to inspire conservation of native plants on the Edwards Plateau and Texas Blackland Prairie.

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

Please join us Tuesday, June 20th for our next chapter meeting. Our speaker is Cliff Tyllick  who will talk about “Expelling Unwelcome Guests from Austin Forests.” Cliff will tell us about the progress made in these volunteer projects, the techniques he uses to control ligustrum, Chinese pistache, and other invasive plants along Walnut Creek. He would like to hear our thoughts, too, about getting more people involved in caring for our parks, greenbelts, and preserves. Maybe we can’t return our landscapes to exactly as they were hundreds of years ago, but we should be able to make them more nearly natural habitats for all to enjoy.

Photo by Linda Reams, Steck Valley restoration work 2016.

Photo by Linda Reams, Steck Valley restoration work 2016.

Cliff Tyllick dropped the only botany class he ever enrolled in, in part because he found learning about plants too fascinating to make it an academic exercise. Since 1983 he has made Austin and its alkaline clays his home, and in his spare time has read and roamed all he can to learn the plants and trees of Central Texas. Since 2013, he has led volunteers to girdle hundreds of invasive trees, uproot thousands of invasive saplings and shrubs, and replant native grasses, forbs, shrubs, and trees.

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

This month’s speaker is David Todd who will talk about the history of native grasslands in Texas, their loss and recovery, drawing on his books: The Texas Landscape Project: Nature and People (Texas A&M University Press 2016) and The Texas Legacy Project: Stories of Courage and Conservation (Texas A&M University Press 2010). Both books are the product of the Conservation History Association of Texas, a small, Austin-based non-profit dedicated to environmental education that Todd organized in 1997.

Mr. Todd has an A.B. in architecture and urban planning from Princeton University, an M.S. in environmental science from Rice University, and a J.D. from Emory University. He has worked as an attorney on environmental cases, a donor for conservation causes and a cattle rancher.

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

We hold a pot luck dinner in December instead of a normal chapter meeting. Please bring a side dish, drink, or dessert to share. This year we will meet at Phyllis Schunck’s house for a more festive location (thanks Phyllis!): 2007 Elton Lane. It’s about half a mile from our normal location at Tarrytown United Methodist Church, just south of Windsor Road, east of the fire station.  Get in touch if you need help with directions!

Time: Arrive 6:30pm, eat at 7:00pm

Location: 2007 Elton Lane, Austin TX 78703

Happy Holidays!

 

The meeting on Tuesday, September 15th, will feature a panel discussion dealing with spring bloomers, which should be planted in the fall.

The meeting will take place from 7:00 to 9:00 in the administration building of the Tarrytown United Methodist Church, 2601 Exposition Blvd., Austin, TX 78703. The administration building is on the southeast corner of Greenlee and Exposition. There is parking in the garage, which also has an elevator. You can enter the garage from Greenlee; look for the signs leading you to the second-floor meeting room. Arrive at 6:30 PM for snacks and seed exchange.

The meeting from 7–9 PM on May 20 of the Austin chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas will include as its main presentation “Ancient People, Ancient Plants, Central Texas: Things We Know and How We Know Them ” by Dr. Leslie Bush. See our website for more details: https://npsot.org/wp/austin/2014/04/18/chapter-meeting-may-20-7-9-pm/

The May 20th meeting will take place at our new and more central location: the administration building of the Tarrytown United Methodist Church, 2601 Exposition Blvd., Austin, TX 78703. The administration building is on the southeast corner of Greenlee and Exposition. There is parking in the garage, which also has an elevator. You can enter the garage from Greenlee; look for the signs leading you to the second-floor meeting room.

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