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Native Plant Society of Texas Tyler Chapter Newsletter

April 2011 Newsletter

Next Chapter Meeting

Joint meeting with Tyler Audubon
April 4th @ 7:00 PM
Tyler Nature Center
11942 FM 848
Tyler, TX

5:00 Dinner at Posados, 6:30 Workshop at Nature Center, 7:00 Meeting at Nature Center

Directions: In Tyler take Loop 323 to SH 248 (southeast of Tyler). Go east on SH 248 past the UT Tyler Campus to FM 848 (about 3 miles). Turn right on FM 848 and travel 0.7 mile. The Nature Center is on the right.

This Month’s Program

Mr. Glenn Olsen -- Certified Texas Master Naturalist
“ The Importance of Native Plants to the Birds of East Texas”

Mr. Olsen’s Biography

A life long interest in nature, the environment and ecology.

A self taught amateur naturalist with special interests in Birds, Native Texas Plants, Insects and their ecology. A passionate student of birds and their habitat for twenty years.

Instructor : Rice University School of Continuing Studies Various classes, some repeated since 2005, including Bird Identification, Butterfly Gardening, Flora and Fauna of Texas, and Organic Gardening. Current Course is Birding on the Upper Texas Coast. Begins March 2011. visit www. Approved for Advanced Training for Texas Master Naturalists.

Instructor : Rice University School of Continuing Studies . Course Butterfly Identification and Gardening For Texas September 17, 2008. Approved for Advanced Training for Texas Master Naturalists. The first course of its kind offered through Rice’s Continuing Studies Department.

Instructor : Rice University School of Continuing Studies . Course The Flora and Fauna of Texas. February28, 2008. In conjunction with Houston Audubon Society, Texas Parks & Wildlife, The Native Plant Society of Texas, and The Texas Master Naturalist Program. Approved for Advanced Training for Texas Master Naturalists. The first course of its kind offered through Rice’s Continuing Studies Department.

Gardening With Native Plants to Attract Birds and Butterflies. In conjunction with Houston Audubon Society, Texas Parks & Wildlife, The Native Plant Society of Texas, and The Master Naturalist Program. Approved for Advanced Training for Texas Master Naturalists.

The first course of its kind offered through Rice’s Continuing Studies Department. Begins Oct 04, 2007.

Birding On The Upper Texas Gulf Coast. The first course of its kind offered through Rice’s Continuing Studies Department. Sept 2006. Classes and field trips. Approved for Advanced Training for Texas Master Naturalists.

Instructor: Houston Audubon Society. Beginning and Intermediate Birding Classes. Fall 2004 to current. Classes and field trips. Approved for Advanced Training for Texas Master Naturalists Home Page

Instructor: Introduction to Bird Identification Classes Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens 2005 to 2007. Classes and field trips. Approved for Advanced Training for Texas Master Naturalists

Rockport/Fulton Hummingbird Festival 2010 Presentations; Hummingbirds of Ecuador, and Lasagna Gardening For Hummingbirds. Invited back for 2011.

Galveston FeatherFest 2007 to 2011 Presentations on Gardening to Attract Birds. Field Trip Leader and/or co-leader. 2007 Presentation on Gardening to Attract Birds

Board of Houston Audubon Society as V.P. Education 2002-2004 . In addition to Board activities, organized nine educational programs related to birds and habitat for community outreach.

President 2001-2002 of the Native Plant Society Of Texas, a statewide organization with 32 chapters and 1850 members throughout the State. President of Houston Chapter 1998-2000. Served on the State Board in various capacities 3 years. Served on Houston Chapter Board various capacities 12 years

Certified Texas Master Naturalist: Served on the steering committee to bring the Master Naturalist Progam to Housotn and establish the first chapter here, Gulf Coast Chapter

Completed the program with the Heatwood Master Naturalist. Chapter. Have been and instructor in various chapter’s instruction for new participants.

Co-founder of the “WildScapes WorkShops". A partnership between the Houston Chapter of the Native Plant Society and Texas Parks and Wildlife to sponsor an annual event hosting speakers to educate individuals about ecology, habitat, native plants, and landscaping to attract and benefit wildlife. Now in the twelfth, year this all day educational event includes a native plant sale, seed sale, and book sale that attracts 150 to 200 attendees per year from over 30 communities surrounding Houston. I have advised two other chapters which have started similar events in other parts of the state.

Contributing Author 2004-2009 Houston Chronicle Real Estate Homes Section on behalf of Urban Harvest. Contributed articles on plants and birds for the Houston Chronicle, various garden clubs and nature related organizations, newsletters and the Houston Audubon Society.

Field Trip Leader Over the past fifteen years have acted as leader and/or co-leader for numerous field trips for various organizations such as Galveston Featherfest, Texas Ornithological Society, Stepehen F. Austin College Regional Plant Conference, Houston Ornithology Group, , the Native Plant Society of Texas Houston, and Texas Master Naturalist’s

Served as a speaker to the Entrance Landscaping Committee at the University Of Houston to improve the landscaping image of the campus, resulting in a designated Native Texas Plants landscape project and future use of Native Texas plants in other areas of the campus.

Served as a speaker on Native Texas Plants and or Birding for various Master Gardener certification classes, the WildScapes Work Shop, Texas Master Naturalist meetings and Training, Houston Ornithology Group and other educational events.
Instrumental in the establishment of "butterfly and bird habitat gardens" at several Houston elementary schools one of which, The Branch School received special recognition at the Houston Audubon Society’s Gala in 2005

Served as a warden for the National Audubon Society monitoring colonial nesting birds in Rockport, TX.

Served in various volunteer capacities for the Rockport Hummingbird Festival 2nd through 9th years.

Served with the Nature Conservancy’s pilot project to introduce captive reared endangered "Attwater's Prairie Chicken" to their preserve near Texas City, TX.

Member of American Birding Association, Houston Audubon Society, Gulf Coast Bird Observatory, Texas Ornithological Society, Houston Ornithology Group, Native Plant Society of Texas and the Outdoor Nature Club.

Bachalor’s Degree in Philosophy. Self studies in ecology, birds, and plants.

Professionally, an Independent Benefits Planner who works with individuals and small business owners to establish retirement, medical and other benefit plans.

Guide for Birding, Nature & Photography Tours. Self Employed. Organize and lead tours for groups or individuals covering all regions of Texas and key Birding and Natural History areas of other states. Have organized and lead Special Tours to the Galapagos Island, the Rain and Cloud Forests of Ecuador, the Andes Mountains of Ecuador and several areas of Costa Rica.

Future Programs

May  2nd 2011    -  waiting for confirmation from Speaker

Trees for sale at the Monthly Meeting
The following trees will be available for purchase at the April 4 meeting:

3 Pecans (3 ga)

1 Nuttall Oak (1 ga)
2 Green Ash (3 ga)
1 Shumard Oak (3 ga)
1 Overcup Oak (3 ga)
2 Overcup Oak (1 ga)
7 Redbud (1 ga)
7 Shortleaf Pine (1ga)

Requested donations for the trees are $3.00 for the 1 gallon size and $5.00 for the 3 gallon size.

President’s Message

President’s Message

Don’t you just love spring? Every day I see something that wasn’t there the day before—new leaves, new flowers, new pollen. I even saw some paintbrush (Castilleja indivisa) today, and some bluebonnets. Remember, we can see two kinds of bluebonnets around here. The Hill Country Bluebonnet (Lupinus texensis) has a white tip, and the Sandyland Bluebonnet (Lupinus subcarnosus) does not. You can see that difference from the road. Close up, the flower and leaf shapes are not quite the same. Texas names all six of its bluebonnets as the state flower of Texas.

We had a good field trip/brunch on March 19 at our house. We had some Texas Trillium (Trillium texana) plants on our side of the fence, but no flowers. But there were some on our neighbor’s side. On our side, we found Southern Twayblade Orchids (Listera australis), and plants of Golden Groundsel (Packera obovata), Spiderlily (Hymenocallis eulae) and Yellow Horse Gentian (Triosteum angustifolium). Those attending were Ron and I, Clyde and Fran McKinney, Margie and Lynn Sherrod, Brian Bonner, Betsy Smith and Sonnia Hill and her sister Marta.

Be sure and come to our April meeting. Ron and I heard Glen Olsen’s talk last May, and thought he would be a perfect speaker for our joint meeting with Audubon. He will have some excellent pictures of birds and the plants they utilize. We will try to sell some more of our little trees. You saw the list in the last newsletter, so ask your friends if they would like something.

I found a news clipping for the first meeting that our Tyler Chapter had. It doesn’t have the year, but I’m pretty sure that it was 1990. So our April meeting will be exactly 21 years from our beginning. Dr. Sherrod organized us, and is still an active member. The only other charter members that we still have are Ron and I, and Sandy Wilson, who, if I remember right, was our first secretary. Our membership list was almost forty, so we are about the same. The state membership is still less than 2,000. The things that NPSOT stands for are in the news now more than they were twenty or thirty years ago. People are beginning to take notice of the importance of native plants in our environment. So we need to get more members, and make ourselves known more.

Ron will tell you at the meeting about awards he will be giving out at the Symposium. If you know of anyone that might be considered, be sure and tell him.

See you next Monday night.

Ruth Loper, President, Tyler Chapter, NPSOT

Call for Nominations

The 2011 NPSOT Awards Committee is asking for nominations for Awards to be presented at the October, 2011, Awards Banquet. The purpose is to acknowledge the achievements of individuals whose work enriches our understanding of native plants and their environments. These awards honor excellence in writing; acts of conservation and public service; lifetime achievement in the field of native plants. Nominations are solicited for the following:

The Carroll Abbott Memorial Award For writings in the popular vein on Texas native plants.

The Nancy Benedict Memorial Award For an act of conservation/public service in the field of Texas native plants. This is for a specific act or acts, and is not a “joiner” or “lifetime of service” award.

The Donovan Stewart Correll Memorial Award For scientific writing in the field of the native flora of Texas.

The Charles Leonard Weddle Memorial Award For lifetime achievement in the field of Texas native plants.

The Lynn Lowery Memorial Award For Horticultural achievement in the field of Texas native plants.

Submit award nominations to the 2011 Awards Chairman, Ron Loper, at 13456 CR 2235, Whitehouse, Texas 75791; email to; or phone 903 839-7695.

Visit for a complete list of previous award recipients. 


Benny J Simpson Fellows Award


NPSOT is asking for nominations for the 2011 Benny J. Simpson Fellows Award. This award is recognition for longtime involvement within NPSOT at the local, regional or state level. Nomination Forms will be mailed to members later this summer.  Nominees must have been a NPSOT member for at least ten years and not have received the award previously.  Click for a list of eligible nominees.

For questions or more information about these awards contact our State Office Coordinator Pam Middleton or Awards Chairman Ron Loper.

Henderson County Master Gardeners’ Spring Conference
April 21, 2011

The 2011 Henderson County Master Gardeners’ Spring Conference will be held on April 21, 2011 at the First United Methodist Church, Athens, Texas. We are proud to announce that our speaker will be Greg Grant, a nationally known horticulturist, naturalist and garden writer, who lives and works in East Texas. Greg co-authored Home Landscaping-Texas (2004), writes the popular column “In Greg’s Garden” for Texas Gardener magazine and contributes to Neil Sperry’s Gardens magazine. An extensively revised edition of "Heirloom Gardening for the South," which he co-authored with Dr. William Welch, will be available this spring.

Greg's presentation will be entitled “Heirloom Plants for the South.” His knowledge of the subject is vast, having spent many years developing improved selections of native plants and introducing Texas hardy annuals and perennials to the Texas nursery industry. Two of his rose introductions, Marie Daly and Nacogdoches, have been named “Earthkind” selections. He was presented the Superior Service Award by the Texas Agricultural Extension Service and the Lynn Lowry Memorial Award by the Native Plant Society of Texas for horticultural achievement in the field of Texas native plants.

Greg lives in Arcadia, deep East Texas, in the lovingly restored dogtrot home of his great grandparents. The gardens surrounding the house have been planted with many

heirloom plants that have withstood the test of our blazing summers, periodic drought, and fickle winters.

We plan to feature many of Greg’s most popular introductions at our annual plant sale held in conjunction with the conference. Mark your calendar for the evening of April 21, 2011, and join us for a memorable speaker, a grand dinner, and a spectacular plant sale.

Tickets are available from Henderson County Master Gardeners, and from the AgriLife Extension Office, Henderson County Courthouse Annex, 101 E. Tyler Street, Athens, TX 75751; Telephone 903-675-6130, Fax 903-611-7222. 
We hope to see you there!


We have a chance to sell some of our little potted trees at the Earth Day Celebration at Camp Tyler on Sunday April 17, from 10:00 until 3:00. But I have to register by March 4, which is next Friday. So far I have found no one that can man our table there. If we don’t sell our trees there, we may have to wait until the Fall Garden Conference. If you can help on Earth Day, please give me a call THIS WEEK at 903-839-7695. Our meeting is after the registration deadline.

Ruth Loper

Biological Assessment Team Members Needed in East Texas

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Wildlife Diversity Program is looking for knowledgeable individuals interested in joining an East Texas team of plant or herp enthusiasts to participate in a biological assessment on private property near Ben Wheeler, TX, Van Zandt County. The goal for this pilot project is to get professionals and hobbyists in the field for some fun botanizing and herping, as well as looking at the feasibility of putting together biological assessment teams for future projects. Another important goal for this project is to help fill the gaps in the Texas Natural Diversity Database. This database, maintained by TPWD, tracks rare species throughout the state and data is greatly needed. For this pilot project there will be two teams, one surveying herps and one surveying plants.

The project begins Friday evening on May 13, 2011 and runs through Sunday, May 15, 2011. The location is private ranch near Ben Wheeler, TX. Exact directions will be given out upon registration.


  • May 13th  - 7pm - Project Overview then amphibian survey for herp team

  • May 14th – Plant and herp surveys at two or more properties (times will be determined by teams)

  • May 15th – Continue surveys

There are plush cabins with internet at the ranch but space is limited so please contact me as soon as possible and I will reserve a spot for you.

Future projects may also include bird and mammal survey teams, if herps and plants aren’t your thing. We also plan to expand this project throughout the state, so projects such as this may soon be available in your area.

If you would like join us on May 13th and be a member of a plant or herp team in East Texas, please contact me at:

Marsha E. May

Texas Nature Trackers
Wildlife Diversity Branch
Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept
4200 Smith School Road, Austin, Texas 78744

Photo Section
Remember to visit: Spot, Snap, Send, & Share on our web site.


 Caddo Wildflower Chapter NPSOT:  meets the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m.  Meetings are held in Atlanta at Horn Enterprises located on the northeast corner of the intersection of Texas Hwy. 77 and Texas Hwy. 43.  (Just off U.S. 59 on the southwest side of Atlanta.)  The old Texas National Guard armory sits diagonally across the same intersection on the southwest corner.  The Atlanta ISD Junior High School is across the street.

 Lake Country Chapter NPSOT:  meets at 7:00 p.m. the first Tuesday at the Titus County AgriLife Extension building, 1708 Industrial Road (FM 1402), Mount Pleasant.

 Four Corners Chapter NPSOT:  meets at 7:00 p.m. the first Thursday at Williams Memorial United Methodist Church parlor, 4000 Moores Lane, Texarkana.

 Northeast Texas Organic Gardeners:  meets at 10:00 a.m. the 1st Wednesday at Wildwood Eco-Farm in Kilgore.  For directions call Carole Ramke at 903-986-9475

Cypress Basin Chapter Texas Master Naturalist:  meets at 6:30 p.m. the 3rd Tuesday most months.  For information on location email the president, Ted Barrow, @


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