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Collin County Chapter

What We Do

Monthly Talks

The Collin County Chapter of NPSOT meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m., except in December. These talks include a featured speaker discussing a topic related to Native Plants of Texas. A full listing of our 2024 chapter meeting speakers is below. For a detailed description of upcoming chapter meetings, please see the Events page

If you would like to be notified of upcoming chapter meetings, and other updates, please send an email requesting to be added to our mailing list. 

Native Plant Sale

The Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary in McKinney is holding its annual native plant sale in 2024 on April 12 – 14. April 12 is for Heard Members only and the sale is open to the public on April 13 – 14. Our chapter partners with the Heard Museum on the native plant sale. The sale is one of the longest-running, largest, and best native plant sales in Texas. 

Field Trips & Nature Walks

We frequently lead field trips and walks to points of interest related to native plants. These include native prairies and forests, nurseries that carry native plants, and other similar venues. See our Event page for a listing of upcoming trips and walks.

Seed Packet Kits

Throughout the year we create native seed packet kits to sell at events. Our members collect seeds and then clean, sort, and package them for sale. Volunteer opportunities are available to help with packaging seed packet kits.

Community Outreach

The Collin County Chapter participates in events around the county and North Texas to advocate for native plants. Typically, we will work with schools, charitable organizations, youth groups, and other non-profits to help the community learn more about the benefits of native plants. In addition, we have information booths and speak at a variety of events. 

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Speakers Bureau

The NPSOT Speakers Bureau connects our local and state-wide experts with organizations that need speakers related to native plants of Texas. Some past topics have included:

  • “Why Native Plants?”
  • “Landscaping with Natives”
  • “Pollinator Gardens”
  • “Monarchs and Milkweed”

Please use our Contact Us form to send your request, and a member will help you with identifying an expert for your topic.

Native Plant Garden Assistance

We offer non-profits, churches, government entities, and public parks within Collin County and adjacent counties free native plant garden design assistance. Our team of volunteers will provide a consultation site visit and can coordinate volunteer efforts for the garden installation. We will help identify plants that will do well based on the local site conditions (soil, sun and moisture). 

For organizations, we request they identify a champion who will support the project and has the authority to ensure development and maintenance tasks are completed by your staff or volunteers based on our recommendations.

Provide us with as much details as possible in our Contact Us page and one our members will contact you to learn more about the project, your organization, and coordinate a site visit. 

Education

The Native Landscape Certification Program (NLCP) is a series of day-long classes that teach best practices for native plant landscaping – including wildlife habitat gardening. This program is managed by the State NPSOT team, with local classes hosted in our area and often taught by our members.

Each class consists of an indoor training session and a 2-hour outdoor plant walk. The classes showcase native plants in their natural habitat, illustrating their use in the landscape. You will also see common invasive plants in natural areas. 

Targeted audiences include homeowners, native plant enthusiasts, landscape architects, architects, plant nursery employees, maintenance workers, park employees, Master Naturalists, Master Gardeners, teachers, and more.

For more details on the NLCP: About – Class Schedule – Class Descriptions – Contact

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About the Region

New Braunfels, the location of our Fall 2024 Symposium, straddles both the Edwards Plateau Ecoregion and the Blackland Prairie ecoregion. Interstate 35 divides the city of New Braunfels; its path through the city closely parallels the boundary of these two ecoregions, with the Edwards Plateau on the west side and the Blackland Prairies region to the east. The Edwards Plateau area is also called the Hill Country; however, this general term covers a much larger area extending farther north. Spring-fed creeks are found throughout the region; deep limestone canyons, rivers, and lakes (reservoirs) are common. Ashe juniper is perhaps the most common woody species found throughout the region. Additional woody species include various species of oak, with live oak (Quercus fusiformis) being the most common. Sycamores (Platanus occidentalis) and bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) border waterways. This area is well known for its spring wildflower displays, though they may be viewed in spring, late summer, and fall, as well. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, average annual rainfall in the Edwards Plateau ranges from 15 to 34 inches.

The Blackland Prairie extends from the Red River south to San Antonio, bordered on the west by the Edwards Plateau and the Cross Timbers, and on the east by the Post Oak Savannah. Annual rainfall averages 30 to 40 inches, with higher averages to the east. This region is dominated by prairie species. The most common grass species include little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) in the uplands and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) in the riparian areas and drainages. Common herbaceous flowering plants include salvias, penstemons, and silphiums. This area has suffered greatly from overgrazing and agricultural use. Few intact areas remain, though many of the plants can be found along county roadsides throughout the region.

Our four host chapters (New Braunfels, Lindheimer, Guadalupe, and the Hill Country chapters) are located in one or both of the ecoregions above. However, the eastern portion of Guadalupe County also falls within the Post Oak Savanna ecoregion. Annual rainfall averages 35 to 45 inches, with higher averages to the east. A wide variety of hardwood trees are found, including several species of oaks, elms, and in the Bastrop area, loblolly pine (Pinus taeda). Grasses and forbs dominate in the open savannas, with most common grass being little bluestem. Ranching, agriculture, and fire suppression have allowed woody species to encroach on the once-open savannas.

Source: Wildflowers of Texas by Michael Eason