Boerne Chapter

Past Meetings



January 2

Speaker: Ryan Bass is the Environmental Program Manager for the City of Boerne where he leads the city’s Urban and Community Forestry, Water Conservation and Watershed Protection programs. He has14 years of experience in municipal government where he has held positions in Economic Development, Capital Project Management and Environmental Planning. Ryan holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry with a concentration in Wildlife Management and a Minor in Biology from Stephen F Austin State University

Topic: City of Boerne Environmental Programs. Ryan will provide an overview of current environmental programs being conducted by the city, including the updated tree ordinance, dark sky initiatives, water conservation and surface water quality monitoring.  He will also detail how environmental protections found within the city’s unified development code are applied to both commercial and residential development projects.

February 6

Speaker: Chuck Janzow is a founding member of the Boerne Chapter of NPSOT and has been a member of this chapter for 20 years.  He is a retired science teacher from Boerne High School.  His native plant interest started in 1992 and he started a nursery in 1994 focused on woody perennials.

Topic: How to Grow Maple Trees from Seeds

March 5

Speakers: Rufus Stephen and Jan Wrede. Rufus Stephens and Jan Wrede are co-authors of the new edition Land Stewardship for Birds: A Guide for Central Texas published by Texas A&M Press. In addition, Jan is author of Trees, Shrubs, and Vines of the Texas Hill Country. Rufus is a Certified Wildlife Biologist and educator. He has worked as a wildlife biologist for 35 years, 23 years with TPWD. Rufus is one of the founders of the Texas Master Naturalist program and in recognition for this accomplishment was a corecipient of the Wildlife Management Institute’s award for Innovation. Jan is a non-fiction writer and environmental educator. She worked for 19 years as the director of education and citizen science at the Cibolo Nature Center and wrote weekly nature columns for the local newspapers. She also was a secondary science teacher for 15 years.

Topic: “Land Stewardship for Birds and the Importance of Native Plant Communities.”  Fifty years of data indicate that bird populations are declining at alarming rates. Birds have declined in all major habitats most often because of habitat destruction or degradation. Fortunately, with thoughtful practices land stewards can be agents of change. This presentation focused on what you can do with your land to restore and enhance native plant communities, which are needed to produce the cover, food, and water needed for thriving bird populations

April 2

Speaker: Stephen Zoeller, with AgriLife Extension service. Mr. Zoeller earned Bachelor and Masters Degrees from Tarleton State University. His AgriLife career has included service in Atascosa, Medina, Blanco, and Kendall Counties. Including his children, five generations of Zoeller’s have called Kendall County home.

Topic: Soils of Kendall County.

May 7

Speaker: Dr. Laura Bush, a paleoethnobotanist, an archaeologist who specializes in identifying bits of plants preserved on archaeological sites, usually in the form of  charcoal and occasionally as waterlogged or desiccated plant parts.

Topic: Texas Plants and Indigenous Landscapes: Insights from Archaeology. This talk will cover four  pre-Columbian archaeological sites from across the state with attention to how sites are located in relation to natural features of the landscape, what plants would have been available to site inhabitants, what plants were recovered in archaeological investigations, what purposes they might have served, and how such knowledge is inferred.


January 3

Speaker: Lonnie Childs, who retired in 2001 to the Fredericksburg area to pursue his interests in history, natural history, and land conservation. He has been involved with multiple non-profit organizations including serving on the Board of Directors of the Gillespie County Historical Society, and State President of the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT).  He was a Hill Country Master Naturalist class of 2004, and currently serves as President and Newsletter Editor of the Friends of the Fredericksburg Nature Center.

Topic: Early Texas Botanists.  Tales of early Texas naturalists and adventurers, who risked their lives in pursuit of scientific data while examining and documenting our diverse natural history. Attention will focus on some of the better known Texas explorers, including Ferdinand Roemer and Ferdinand Lindheimer, both of whom spent time in the Hill Country pursuing their scientific studies.

A recording of the presentation is here

February 7

Speaker: Ken Butler is a retiree in Kendall County, and earned BS and MS degrees in Geophysics from Texas A&M University.  He is an avid photographer, Texas Master Naturalist, member of the Board of the Bexar Audubon Society, an obsessive birder, and is devoted to observing and documenting birds, butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies in Central Texas.

Topic: Butterflies of the Kendall County Area. Photographic summary of the identifying field marks and basic behavior of the common butterflies (and a few rare ones) of Kendall County and the surrounding area.

A recording of the presentation is here.

March 7

Speaker: Haeley Giambalvo – While becoming a Texas Master Naturalist in 2020, Haeley developed a passion for growing native plants that support insects and wildlife. Now she wants to tell everyone about the benefits of native plants.  Haeley serves on the boards of the Alamo Area Master Naturalists and the NPSOT San Antonio Chapter. She volunteers with fellow plant-loving friends to maintain native plant demonstration gardens around town. 

Topic: Jumpstart Your Native Garden – Do you want to start gardening with more Texas native plants?  Just a few small changes to what you are growing can make a big impact in terms of supporting more insects, birds, and other wildlife. You can support more insects and wildlife, one plant at a time. 

A recording of her presentation is here.

April 4

Speaker: Chuck Janzow is a founding member of the Boerne chapter of NPSOT and has been a member of this chapter for 20 years. He is a retired science teacher from Boerne High School.  His native plant interest started in 1992 and he started a Nursery in 1994 focused on woody perennials. 

Topic: Seed Propagation, Collection and Storage – Learn the process of seed collection, storage, and preparation for the planting of local native plants.

A recording of the presentation is here.

May 2

Speaker – Ben Pfieffer is a Texas Master Naturalist, a member of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and firefly researcher with a B.S. in Biology from Texas State University. 

Topic – Fireflies and their Disappearing Habitat. Ben discussed different types of fireflies and how to restore their habitats.

September 5

Speaker – Bill Swanter was a music and divity major, and is a retired pastor from Hope Lutheran Church. He has studied the soils in the area and ways to enrich it. Concern for soil quality naturally led him into composting and, from there, into plant selection and propagation. 

Topic – Rethinking Water – What are the homeowners conservation responsibilities? And what are the possibilities?

October 3

Speaker – Angelica Torres is a local mushroom farmer and native, edible plant enthusiast.  She is an Alamo Area Texas Master Naturalist and volunteers for the Central Texas Mycological Society.  She studied to become a chef at Le Cordon Bleu in Los Angeles.

Topic – All Mushrooms are Magic. The basics of mycology and how fungi is in all parts of our life.

November 7

Speaker – David M Vaughn has been an arborist in San Antonio since 1978.  He is a certified expert in managing Texas Oak Wilt and is the owner and consulting arborist of ArborVaughan Consult, LLC.  He is among the first group of 20 arborists certified in Texas, and is a member of the American Society of Consulting Arborists.

Topic – How to Properly Plant and Prune a Containerized Tree


January 4

Speaker: Kevin Belter, ISA Board Certified Master Arborist, President of ArborCare and Consulting

Topic: Straight Tree Talk

Learn about a potpourri of general tree health topics, such as oak wilt – what you didn’t know, and native plants – why they are more critical than ever!  

A recording of the presentation is here.

February 1

Speaker: Lauren Simpson.  Lauren has transformed her Houston home gardens into a Certified Wildlife Habitat (National Wildlife Federation), a Monarch Waystation (Monarch Watch, Waystation No. 10925), and a Certified Butterfly Garden (North American Butterfly Association).  She spends her “free time” promoting pollinator conservation and wildscaping through state and local presentations, events, articles and interviews. 

Topic: From Landscape to Wildscape: Gardening for Wildlife at Home

A recording of her presentation is here.

March 1

Speaker: Brenda Fest, Hill Country Texas Master Naturalist and Native Landscape Certification Program instructor

Topic: Botany Basics: Plant Parts, Flowers, and Families

A .pdf of her slide show is available here

April 5

Speaker: Merry Langlinais.

Topic: Native Plants for Butterflies of the Texas Hill Country.

A recording of her presentation is available here.

May 3

Speaker: Eddie Seidensticker

Topic: Restoration of Coastal Marsh at San Jacinto State Park. Eddie Seidensticker describes the importance of restoring the marsh at San Jacinto State Park with native plants to enhance the historical setting of the battle of San Jacinto. The marsh played an important role in how Texans won the battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836.  Eddie is currently on the board of Kendall County Soil and Water Conservation and Kendall County Historical Commission.  

A recording of his presentation is available here.

September 6

Speaker: Craig Hensley
Craig is the Texas Nature Trackers Biologist with the TPWD Wildlife Diversity Team. He holds a Master’s Degree in Zoology and B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Management and is a federally-licensed bird bander. He has been enthusiastically sharing the wonders of the natural world with children and adults for 40 years.

Topic: Inviting the Natural World Back to Your Yard: A Native Plant Approach.  We often talk about using native plants in our home landscaping for the benefit of pollinators, reduction of watering, and even the ease of care of native plants. During this presentation you will be introduced to a detailed example of what can be done, what outcomes can occur, and challenges that occur during the process. Join Texas Nature Trackers Biologist Craig Hensley for a look at the work he and his wife Terry Lashley have done to welcome back the natural world to a typical yard.

A recording of the presentation is here.

October 4

Speaker:  Lonnie Childs

Lonnie retired in 2001, to the Fredericksburg area to pursue his interests in history, natural history, and land conservation. He has been involved with multiple non-profit organizations including serving on the Board of Directors of the Gillespie County Historical Society and serving as State President of the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) where he received the Benny Simpson Fellows Award for service to the society. He was a graduate of the 2004 Hill Country Master Naturalist class and has taught the “Early Texas Naturalist” curriculum for the chapter. He currently serves as President and Newsletter Editor of the Friends of the Fredericksburg Nature Center.

Topic: Yuccas and Related Plants of Texas Tough Plants for Tough Times.  Lonnie will explore the Agaves and Yuccas of Texas and the background on the ethno-botanical uses of them, along with some interesting historical facts about these plants and their human interactions. He will discuss specific species which are most suitable for home landscaping use.

November 1

Speaker: Kelly Lyons
Kelly is a Professor in the Biology Department at Trinity University. She is a botanist and ecologist who studies the influence of diversity on ecosystem functioning and invasive species dynamics. Her current research focus is on restoration of Texas grasslands and rangelands with particular emphasis on improvement of soil health.

Topic: Natives,Invasives, and Climate Change: What is the Role of Humans? Climate change combined with the growing prevalence of invasive species make unavoidable the requirement for a human solution to native species conservation. In this discussion, Dr. Lyons will present baseline evidence for the value of conserving native biodiversity.

A recording of the presentation is here.


January 5

Speaker: Erin Davis, Texas A&M Forest Service

Topic: Tree Species for the Hill Country.  Her presentation included information about establishment, maintenance, and proper pruning of our Hill Country trees. Erin has a B.S. in Renewable Natural Resources and Forestry from Texas A&M University. She is a staff forester based in Kerrville, with experience in educating community members and landowners in proper tree care and land management.

A recording of the presentation is here.

February 2

Speaker: Craig Hensley, Texas Nature Trackers Biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Topic: Native Plants and Pollinators

Craig earned his Masters degree in Zoology/Animal Biology from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He has been enthusiastically sharing the wonders of the natural world with children and adults for 40 years. He has worked at wonderful organizations including the Thomas Irvine Dodge Nature Center in West St. Paul, MN, Fontenelle Forest and Neale Woods Nature Centers in Omaha and Bellevue, NE, Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center in Blue Springs, MO,  Martha Lafite Thompson Nature Sanctuary in Liberty, MO,  and now with Texas Parks and Wildlife. 

A recording of his presentation is available here.

March 2

Speaker: Jane Tillman, past president of the Native Plant Society of Texas, Austin chapter.

Topic: Native Plants for Birds

Jane  was part of the team that developed the new NPSOT Native Landscape for Birds NLCP Companion class. As an active Travis Audubon Society member and Capital Area Master Naturalist, she gives talks and teaches classes about Central Texas birds and gardening for birds to garden clubs, neighborhood associations, lifelong learning groups, bird festivals, and libraries. Her yard has a Best of Texas Backyard Wildlife Habitat certification. Jane travels around Texas to see birds and the different ecoregions they inhabit, recently completing the Texas Ornithological Society’s Century Club challenge to see 100 species in 100 Texas counties.  

A recording of her presentation is available here.

April 6

Speakers: Ed Rogers, Steering Committee Chair for Kendall County Friends of the Night Sky, and Amy Jackson, Founder/Director of Starry Sky Austin.
Topics: How You Can Preserve Our Night Sky
Ed gave an overview of dark sky conservation efforts of Kendall County Friends of the Night Sky, and talked about five things to keep in mind when thinking about your home’s outdoor lighting plan.
Amy talked about constellations and where to see them in the sky.
A recording of the presentation is available here.

May 4

Speaker:Mary Irish, a garden writer, horticultural consultant, lecturer and educator. 
Topics: Perennial Gardening – Plants and Design for Drought Tolerant Borders
We were not able to record the presentation, but  a link to an interview by Central Texas Gardner with Mary Irish on the same topic is available here

June 1

Member Picnic on the Cibolo Center for Conservation Veranda

September 7 

Speaker: Judit Green, TPWD Urban Wildlife Biologist, contributing author to Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife, and a co-founder of the first chapter of Texas Master Naturalists™ in San Antonio.

Topic: Migratory Birds and Native Plants. Judit taught us a bit about migratory birds and how we can help them during their journey across Texas. 

No recording is available for this presentation.

October 5 

Speaker: Bryan Hummel

Topic: Nature-Based Principles to Regenerate Ecosystems’ Health and Resilience. Bryan covered simple backyard bioswales, community-scale carbon-sequestration, flood-mitigation and aquifer-recharge projects, all using native plants.  Our speaker is a Hill Country native and a biologist.  He has incorporated nature-based green-infrastructure practices into several habitat regeneration projects.  His passion is helping communities convert flooding liabilities into groundwater assets and enhanced spring flow. A recording of the presentation is available here.

November 2

Speaker: Lee Marlowe

Topic: Rain Gardens for Wildlife and Water Quality. Rain gardens are shallow depressions that help temporarily capture rainwater runoff from hard surfaces like rooftops and allow the water to be filtered and cleaned through plants and soils. When plants are selected properly, these gardens can help pollinators, birds and other wildlife. Lee is a restoration ecologist with over 20 years of professional experience working in ecological restoration and natural resources management. She currently serves as the Sustainable Landscape Ecologist for the San Antonio River Authority and President of the San Antonio Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas.A recording of the presentation is available here.


January 7

Speaker: Shannon Brown founder of Ecosystem Regeneration Artisans .

Topic: Rainscapes.  Urban and suburban landscapes impact the health of local river systems. Each individual home contributes a small amount to overall stormwater runoff, but the collective impact of many developments, each with thousands of homes within a river’s watershed, generates flash flooding, reduces water quality, and sends a deadly wall of fast moving water surging into creeks our of our storm sewers. Rainscapes mitigate the impact of our homes on our water by mimicking predevelopment hydrology using rainwater harvesting systems including cisterns, rain gardens, and other low impact development (LID) features.

Shannon Brown is a trained ecologist who devotes her life to improving the environment for humans and wildlife by creating healthy ecosystems. Her company, Ecosystem Regeneration Artisans (ERA,, is an eco-friendly landscaping company. Their talented land stewards work on projects that realize the vision of creating healthy, biodiverse communities. Their gardens use native plants to provide wildlife habitat for pollinators and birds, incorporate perennial food crops for human consumption, and usually involve mechanisms to harvest rainwater and sink it into the soil before it runs off, becomes polluted and contributes to flooding. Shannon is certified as a native plant landscaper, permaculture designer, holistic management practitioner and low impact development construction inspector.  

February 4

Speaker: Ryan Bass, Capital Projects Administrator for the City of Boerne

Topic: Riparian Systems.  Ryan will discuss riparian systems and how they impact water quality and hydrology in Hill Country watersheds.  He will highlight recent water quality monitoring data collected at Boerne City Lake and provide a status update on efforts to protect Honey Creek from proposed changes in land use within the Honey Creek Watershed. 

Ryan Bass is responsible for managing Boerne city utility and transportation related design and construction contracts. He manages the city’s surface water quality monitoring projects and has worked to develop and implement management strategies outlined in the U.S. EPA approved Upper Cibolo Creek Watershed Protection Plan. Ryan is a graduate of the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture at Stephen F. Austin State University and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Wildlife Management with a Minor in Biology.

March 3

Speaker: George Cates from Native American Seed 

Topic: Perspectives on Native Seeds. This presentation deals with the legal right of ownership of native plants. It was sparked from two questions.. 1)Who has the right to own the genes of our native species? 2) At what point is a plant altered so significantly through selection or breeding, it could no longer be considered Native? 

George Cates began interning for Native American Seed in 2002 and was hired full time after graduating from Austin College in 2006 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. Over the years, he has led many NAS prairie restorations, managed seed production on the NAS farm in Junction, and managed harvest operations across the many ecoregions of Texas. George currently manages NAS land management operations that serve public and private clients throughout Texas, farming operations, and seed cleaning facilities. He loves to teach and share what he has learned through his experiences.

April 7

Cancelled due to COVID-19

May 5

In-person meeting cancelled due to COVID-19.

Co-speakers:  Erin Flinchbaugh and Sydney Jackson of the Botanical Research Institiute of Texas (BRIT).  They sent a YouTube presentation on their work at BRIT to identify and protect rare Texas plant species: 

June 2

Summer Pot Luck cancelled due to COVID-19

September 1  

Zoom Meeting

Speaker: Laurie Brown, Director of Programs at Cibolo Nature Center

Topic:  No Bugs, No Birds.  Zoom recording of the presentation:

October 6

Zoom Meeting

Speaker: Monika Maeckle, founder of the San Antonio Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival

Topic: Monarch Butterfly Programs in San Antonio and the Mayor’s Monarch Pledge.  Zoom recording of the presentation:

Monika Maeckle is a co-founder of the San Antonio Report, which strives to provide credible, fact-based, public service journalism.  Monika writes about pollinators, native plants, and the ecosystems that sustain them at the Texas Butterfly Ranch website. She is also the founder and director of the Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival.

December 1 

Zoom Meeting

Speaker:  George Cates with Native American Seed

Topic:  Harvesting, Drying, Storage, and Planting of Native Seeds.  

Zoom recording of the presentation:

George began interning for Native American Seed in 2002 and was hired full time after graduating from Austin College in 2006 with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. He has led many NAS prairie restorations, managed seed production on the NAS farm in Junction, and managed harvest operations across the many ecoregions of Texas. George currently manages NAS land management operations that serve public and private clients throughout Texas, farming operations, and seed cleaning facilities.


January 8
Speaker: Stephen Zoeller, Kendall County AgriLife Extension Agent
Topic: “Invasive, Exotic, or Introduced Native?”
Mr. Zoeller earned Bachelor and Masters Degrees from Tarleton State University. His AgriLife career has included service in Atascosa, Medina, Blanco, and Kendall Counties. Including his children, five generations of Zoeller’s have called Kendall County home; so, the presentation will include a blend of academic knowledge and local-sourced information.

February 5
Speaker: Deanna Pfeffer, TPWD Lead Biologist at the Kerr Wildlife Management Area.
Topic: Ecosystem Management of the Edwards Plateau’s Kerr WMA – how plant communities and ecosystems have changed over time.

March 5
Speaker: David K. Langford, conservation advocate and outdoor photographer, “The Legacy of Bamberger Ranch Preserve
“Using the inspirational messages and photographs of ethical land stewardship and conservation education chronicled in the recently-published book “Seasons at Selah: The Legacy of Bamberger Ranch Preserve”, he will delve into the significance of the entire Selah story to the conservation of all resources, especially to water and native plants. 

April 7

Susan Tracy, a practicing pteridomanic and lover of Texas native plants, “The Ferns of Texas.” 

The presentation included discussion, visuals, and displays of the fascinating and under appreciated ferns found in the Edwards Plateau region and beyond. For over 30 years, Susan has ranched in Bandera County where she has been proactive in restoring and protecting numerous native plant species. Susan has been active in NPSOT for many years, and served on the State Board from 1991-1996. Regarding her presentation, she warns those attending that “fern fever” can be highly contagious!

May 7

Dr. Jimmy Black, President of the San Antonio Cactus & Xerophyte Society, “Cactus Native to the Texas Hill Country.”

Jimmy developed a love for succulents at age 12, and since then established, along with his wife, what he calls an out-of-control hobby focused on propagation and care of succulents from around the world. Jimmy is currently a medical consultant to the pharmaceutical industry. He has an undergraduate degree in Pharmacy from UT – Austin, doctorate training at UTHSC – SA, and clinical residency at Austin’s Breckenridge Hospital. Through those years, he has sustained his particular affection for cactus of the Southwest and specifically the Chihuahuan Desert.

June 4

Pot Luck Dinner, last meeting before our summer break.  

Aside from the fun, food, beer, wine, punch, and BBQ meats provided by the board, thanks were given to volunteers, especially outgoing volunteers. Brenda Fest gave a sparkling presentation summarizing the activities and accomplishments of the Boerne NPSOT chapter so far this year, including the Spring Plant Sale and Youth Photo Contest among many other events. Her presentation is available here.

September 3

Speaker: Nyta Brown with the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. 

Topic: “BATS AS POLLINATORS”. The program will highlight the two pollinating species of bats in Texas, and their importance to the plants in the habits where they range. Several other pollinating bat species from around the world will also be discussed. Nyta has been the Superintendent at Old Tunnel State Park for over ten years, and has a Master’s Degree in Applied Geography with a specialty in Environmental Education, from Texas State University. In addition to her countless day and night hours managing and caring for the Park’s resources, she also spends numerous hours annually onsite and offsite educating children and adults on the vital importance of bats to biodiversity. She also conducts surveys and studies on various bat species throughout Texas. Nyta has two grown sons, and in her time off work, Nyta enjoys running marathons, kayaking Hill Country rivers and lakes, hiking the great outdoors, and loving her dogs.

October 1

Speaker: Dr. O.W. “Bill” Van Auken, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Dept. of Biology, UTSA.

Topic:  “BIG-TOOTH MAPLES IN CENTRAL TEXAS”. He recently led a study that used aerial images and drone photography to inspect 26 sites covering 174 hectares. Ground surveys then focused on 9 sites of deciduous plant communities in seas of Ashe Juniper woodlands, mostly in steep limestone canyons. Of the 17 overstory and 30 understory woody species found, the Big-tooth Maple was one of 2 relatively rare overstory species. The research provides valuable environmental preference data for these tree species. Dr. Van Auken earned Master of Science and Ph.D degrees from the University of Utah. Since 1969 he has lived and worked in Central Texas as a Researcher and Professor in the fields of plant ecology and biology. He is married, has three children, and countless proteges. 

November 5

Speaker: Dr. Norma Fowler, plant ecologist and professor in the Department of Integrative Biology at UT Austin. 

Topic: Central Texas Savannas: Fire, Grazing, and Invasive Species.  Fire and herbivory are widely discussed as factors effecting the distribution of both native plant communities and invasive species in central Texas savanna ecosystems. Norma Fowler’s research group looks at the effects of these factors on plant population dynamics, plant-plant interactions, community structure, and landscape-scale distributions. Dr. Fowler’s group is also working on understanding the role that these factors play in the distribution and ecological impacts of invasive species such as Bothriochloa ischaemum (King Ranch Bluestem, Yellow Bluestem). This species has a major negative effect on the biodiversity of native plant communities in central Texas, and Dr. Fowler’s group is studying ways to manage it. 

Dr. Fowler has a B.A. in Biology from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. from the Department of Botany at Duke University. Dr. Fowler and her students are currently pursuing a variety of questions in several areas of plant population biology and plant ecology, and their work includes the study of central Texas savannas and woodlands. 

December 3

Holiday Pot Luck


January 2
Susan Sander, Naturalist, Riverside Nature Center, Kerrville. What Birds Have Taught Me About Plants
Ms. Sander has a B.A. Philosophy; M.A. Environmental Land-Use Planning
Susan hails from Washington Island, Wisconsin and transplanted to Texas in 1983. She founded the Riverside Nature Center in Kerrville in 1989, and served as its Education Director for 10 years. She now serves as the Naturalist on staff. Ms. Sander has served on numerous city of Kerrville committees: Ecology Task Force, Recycling; Parks & Recreation Advisory Board and the Guadalupe River Trail Projects. She is a former director of the Headwaters Conservation District Board. Susan formerly worked with the Texas Forest Service, focusing on oak wilt and stewardship. Ms. Sander is the Education Advisor for Bamberger Ranch Preserve and a member of the Riverside Nature Center River Trail Team. She also does landscaping using native plants.

February 6
Charlie Flatten, Hill Country Alliance, Water Policy Program Manager,Water 101
Water, essential for life, is our most precious and valuable natural resource. But water supply is limited and under increasing pressure from a growing population. How will we protect this resource and plan for a sustainable future? There is a great need for a water-literate public; decisions being made today have far reaching and long lasting effects for our children and future generations. This presentation will answer questions about how much water we use and on what, where we get our water, how we manage our limited water resources, and how we will provide water for our newly arriving population. Join us as we explore water science, law, management, and the future of water resources in the Hill Country from a conservation based perspective. 

March 6
Cathy Downs, Hill Country Master Naturalist.
Milkweeds are Tricky Business
Native milkweed plants are essential in the spring to attract Monarch butterflies and sustain their populations in the Hill Country and elsewhere but they are still not readily available in nurseries for sale. Learn your local milkweeds and how to take the mystery out of propagating milkweed by applying a few timely tips and tricks.
Cathy became interested in Monarchs in 2007 when working with Hill Country butterflies and their native host plants. She began doing outreach and education on this subject, with an emphasis on Monarchs, in 2008. Since 2012 she has served as Chairperson of the “Bring Back the Monarchs to Texas” program for NPSOT, and also has promoted statewide outreach and education under the umbrella of “Monarch Joint Venture”. Cathy is one of the leading experts on Monarch butterflies in Texas.

April 3
Dr. Tania Homayoun, Texas Nature Trackers Biologist, Texas Parks and Wildlife
Texas Nature Trackers: Discovering Populations & Documenting Change for
Texas Parks & Wildlife’s Texas Nature Trackers (TNT), part of the Wildlife Diversity Program, tracks the status of wild populations of plants and animals throughout the state. This presentation will introduce the Texas Nature Trackers program and how it uses iNaturalist to support the Wildlife Diversity Program’s conservation work on Species of Greatest Conservation Need across the state. We’ll discuss some TNT projects and data needs and how this framework enables iNaturalist users and bioblitz participants to be active partners in conservation.
Dr. Tania Homayoun is a Texas Nature Tracker Biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife. Through Texas Nature Trackers, she engages naturalists of all interests and ability levels in collecting citizen science and crowd-sourced data on Texas’ unique flora and fauna with a particular focus on species of greatest conservation need. Previously, Tania worked for Audubon Texas, with the Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center and later the Conservation Science Team as its Urban Conservation Program Manager where she worked to develop and deliver conservation plans, educational programs/trainings, and activities supporting biodiversity and sustainable communities. Tania holds bachelors degrees in Ecology/Evolution/Conservation Biology and Anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin and a PhD in Conservation Biology from the University of Minnesota, where she studied the impacts of urbanization on landbird communities.  She is an avid birder and always has room for one more native plant in her patio garden.

May 1
Michael Eason, 
Wildflowers of Texas
Michael Eason is a free lance botanist who performs plant surveys and inventories on both private and public lands throughout Texas. Additionally, he is on staff at San Antonio Botanical Gardens, where he heads their Rare Plant Research and Conservation Program. Previously he worked for the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center as their Conservation Program Manager, a position he held from 2003-2012. During this time he managed such projects as the Millennium Seed Bank, Ferns of the Trans-Pecos, and Vegetation Survey of Big Bend National Park. With the contract signed, research for Wildflowers of Texas began in June of 2014, although he has been photographing actively for nearly two decades. This first year was spent organizing photographs, developing species lists and photographing plants. Writing began the second year, with additional photography in order to obtain new species and replace rejected images. In summer of 2016, with the bulk of the photography complete, and images approved, Michael took a six-month break from survey work and focused entirely on writing, finishing in early January of 2017.
Wildflowers of Texas, published by Timber Press, is a field guide covering 1170 taxa of both native and naturalized species, and primarily covers herbaceous flowering plants. The book contains common, uncommon and rare plants found within the borders of Texas. During the course of this project, and after tens of thousands of road miles, and hundreds of hiking miles, numerous range extensions were recorded, a few new species for Texas and the rediscovery of a South Texas water lily (Nymphaea ampla). While the book contains species found in other field guides, many of the plants within have never been included in other Texas field guides and some of the plants never properly, if ever, photographed.

June 5
Chapter Potluck

September 4
Shelly Maher – Pollinator Basics 
Shelly Maher has worked as a research scientist with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, E. “Kika” de la Garza Plant Materials Center in Kingsville since 2002. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture and a Masters of Biology from Texas A&M University-Kingsville. This talk will discuss


facts and habitat needs of pollinators. Handouts will be included that discuss pollinator habitat, how to build nest


and pollinator friendly native plants.

October 2
Benito Trevino – The Traditional Uses of Native Plants
What was the most important native plant to a vaquero? What plant was used for gum infections? What plant provides seeds that were used by our ancestors as a coffee substitute? Join ethnobotanist Benito Trevino for an informative discussion about the many uses of the native plants with a special focus on how the plants were used by the indigenous peoples and our ancestors. Benito Trevino is the owner of Rancho Lomitas Native Plant Nursery which is located outside of Rio Grande City. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in botany more years ago than he cares to remember. Since starting his nursery, Benito has grown over 800,000 native plants which have been used for native landscapes and restoration projects throughout the state.

November 6
Melissa Huffman, Lead Meteorologist at the Austin/San Antonio National Weather Service Office,  “Winter Outlooks for South Central Texas”
The presentation will include a regional forecast for the upcoming winter as well as an overview of climatology impacting native plants in the region. Ms. Huffman earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology from the University of Nebraska, and a Masters of Public Administration degree from the University of North Texas. She began her National Weather Service career in the Midland/Odessa office, then four years in the Houston office (experiencing Hurricane Harvey) before recently accepting her current position.

December 4
Holiday Potluck


January 3
Ben Eldredge, Director of Adult Education and Stewardship at the Cibolo Nature Center and Farm, Holistic Planned Grazing and Restoration Agriculture
Discussion of the negative environmental impacts of conventional agriculture and practical ecosystem-based solutions.

February 7
Rufus Stephens and Jan Wrede, Attracting Birds in the Texas Hill Country: A Guide to Land Stewardship
After years of working with landowners, land managers, naturalists, county officials, and others about wildlife management and land stewardship for birds in the Texas Hill Country, biologist Rufus Stephens and educator Jan Wrede teamed up to write a practical guidebook on how to improve habitat for birds on both small and large properties throughout the Hill Country. They will discuss common problems and possible solutions for developing optimum habitat. By helping readers recognize and evaluate habitat health and then use appropriate habitat enhancement practices, the authors hope to inspire and enable widespread and effective bird conservation in the Texas Hill Country. Rufus is the TPWD’s district leader for the Edwards Plateau Wildlife District. Jan is a former director of education at CNC and the author of Trees, Shrubs, and Vines of the Texas Hill Country.

March 7
Patty Leslie-Pasztor, Native American and Pioneer Uses of Plants
Coauthor of Texas Trees: A Friendly Guide, reveals the uses of our native plants for food, medicine, fiber, dyes, basketry and more! Patty will include a slide presentation showing not only how Native Americans and the early settlers used Texas native plants, but also how these plants benefit birds, butterflies, and other wildlife.

April 4
Jim Stanley, Native Grasses and Health of the Hill Country
Author and Master


will discuss the critical importance of native bunch grasses to the health of the Hill Country native habitat.  Specific topics will include how native grasses are essential to the fertility and health of the soil,


preventing erosion, and to capturing and holding water. Some of the most common Hill Country grasses and their characteristics will also be shown. Jim is the author of two

award winning

books: “Hill Country Landowners Guide” and ” A Beginner’s Handbook for Rural Texas Landowners: How to Live in the Country without Spoiling It”.

May 2
Mark Kroeze, Urban Forester Texas A&M Forest Service, Tree Pruning 
Tree pruning, either done correctly or incorrectly will permanently alter how your tree grows. It can also create a therapeutic experience for the homeowner. Learn the basics of pruning so you can become a master at pruning. Alternatively, if you are a master at pruning, see examples of local pruning that may give you some new ideas.

September 5
Pablo Teveni, Professional Horticulturist
“The Balcones Canyonlands of the Edwards Plateau:  Where Southeast Meets Southwest”
The Edwards Plateau is a very unique place from a botanical perspective because there are many species from the southeastern U.S., as well as the southwestern U.S. represented.Dr. Teveni will discuss the unique diversity of endemic plants found in the Hill Country. Dr. Teveni has Bachelors and Masters degrees in Horticulture and a Ph.D. is Wildlife, Aquatic, and Wildlands Science and Management. He is working on a series of books about the native plants of Texas and the southwestern U.S., and their culinary, medicinal, ecological, and aesthetic properties.

October 3
Craig Hensley, Park Interpreter/Resource Specialist Guadalupe River State Park
“Introducing the Milkweeds of Texas”
Texas is home to a great many milkweeds. Park Interpreter Craig Hensley will present a talk on the unique structure of milkweed flowers and introduce you to those native to the Hill Country, as well as to those around the state. Craig Hensley has served as the Park Interpreter/Resource Specialist for Guadalupe River State Park for more than seven years. He has a Master’s Degree in Zoology and BS in Fisheries and Wildlife Management, and is a Texas Master Interpreter and a National Association for Interpretation Certified Interpretive Trainer.

November 7
Cheryl Hamilton, Alamo Area Master Naturalist

“Invasive Plants: Stop the Spread!”
Cheryl Hamilton will describe the most challenging invasive plants found in the Edward’s Plateau, share strategies for invasive plant identification and eradication and discuss the importance of native alternatives. She will also provide invasive plant samples. Cheryl co-founded the Balcones Chapter of the Invaders of Texas Program in 2010. In 2011 she received the Outstanding Citizen Scientist Award from the Texas Invasive Plants and Pest Council (TIPPC) and the NPSOT President’s Award of Excellence.
Their motto is Stop the Spread, Spread the Word, Just Do It!


January 5
Dr Jimmy Black:   “Introducing Cacti and Other Succulents into Your Landscape.”

Jimmy Black, PharmD is a Boerne area resident and


of the UT College of Pharmacy and the UTHSCSA (BS Pharmacy and Doctor of Pharmacy and residency in Adult Medine at Brackenridge Hospital in Austin. He has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for the past 22 years for companies such as Amylin, Novartis, Pfizer


Park-Davis/WL.  Jimmy learned his love of succulents from his mother and created his first succulent dish garden at the age of 12.  Since then, he has learned to grow and


a wide variety of succulents, many of which are suitable for use in the Texas Hill Country landscapes.  He has served as the President of the San Antonio Cactus & Xerophyte Society.  Jimmy is well known in the horticultural circles for his plant expertise.

February 2
Alex Gonzalez, Master Planning with Native Plants
Alex Gonzalez, Landscape designer at TBG Partners, a landscape architecture and planning firm in San Antonio. He is passionate about developing new ways to integrate native plants into the


environment. His fascination with Texas flora budded during childhood hikes along Cibolo

creek .

  Alex earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Texas A&M University with an emphasis in horticulture. Alex is an avid gardener and collects rare cacti and succulents, he is also a member of the NPSOT San Antonio chapter. TBG Partners is a distinguished landscape architecture and planning firm founded in 1987 in Austin, Texas. Over the past 28


the firm has grown from a single office to an integrated practice with more than 140 professionals working on projects at all scales around the world. In each project, we tell a unique story inspired by our passion for creating unforgettable places that connect people and nature while expressing the story in each detail.  A portfolio of their work can be found at

March 1
Marvin Hatter, Back to the Roots: Growing Hill Country Natives
Marvin has worked for 23 years as the San Antonio District Vegetation Specialist for the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). He is involved with various projects through his work at TxDOT including the mowing, winter ice control, herbicide, landscape, re-vegetation, erosion control


wildflower programs. Prior to joining TxDOT, he worked with the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service in soil and rangeland management and as a Research Horticulturalist with a large wholesale container plant nursery. A native of Sweetwater, TX, he has a BS in Plant and Soil Science from Tarleton State University and

a MS

in Ornamental Horticulture from Texas Tech University. Drawing from a lifelong interest in plants with a strong focus on Texas natives, he started the South Plains Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas while in graduate school. He and his wife, Jana, are members of the Boerne NPSOT Chapter. He enjoys gardening, perfecting his rainwater catchment system, doing yard work, propagating and growing native/adapted plants and teaching others how easy it really is to grow plants. His presentation will focus on how he grows his plants, different types of growing containers, how they affect root systems and the general importance of root systems. I will extend the subject into planting and establishing a plant in the ground.

April 5
Greg Harmison, Beneficial Insects
Greg obtained his BS in Horticulture at Texas A&M in 1993 and his MS in Entomology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2011. In the course of his


he has served as the Educational Director at the Mercer Arboretum, Horticulture Supervisor at the Houston Zoo and Horticulture Coordinator at the Jesse Jones Park and Nature Center.


will be on how insects are of use to humans – indirect benefits, decomposers, detritivores, sarcophagous, coprophagous, lady beetles, mantids, assassin bugs, Asian cockroach, predators, pollinators, butterflies, moths, honey bees, direct benefits, insect ranching, textiles, dyes, beeswax and more.

May 3
Ernesto Carino and Ysmael Espinoz, Medina Garden Nursery, Butterfly gardening and Permaculture
Ernesto O. Carino was born in Puebla, Mexico and graduated with an accounting degree from University Mexico City.  He retired from HEB and opened Medina Garden Nursery in December 1999.  He is the owner of the Medina Garden Nursery and lives in Medina, TX.  Ysmael Espinosa was born in Kerrville, TX and attended Norte Dame Catholic School and Tivy High School (Kerrville, TX).  He worked at HEB and is the Manager of the Medina Garden Nursery. Ernesto and Ysmael both are gardeners. Medina Garden Nursery opened in 1999. Ernesto and Ysmael have experimented growing many native plants from seed, cutting, or divisions. Learning their requirement by trial and error, growing condition, and sharing


how to manage natives over the long term for best results. They grow many native plants that are not very common in the nursery trade and some that rare.  The Nursery has a

two acre

demonstration garden utilized as


classroom. Our topic is Butterfly Gardening and Permaculture. A step-by-step Powerpoint presentation on our experience with Straw bale gardening and other permaculture techniques. We will also discuss how native plants can attract many butterflies.

June 7
Chapter Potluck

September 6
Brent Evans, The Future of Cibolo Nature Center
Brent Evans became the Executive Director of the Cibolo Conservancy, a small non-profit organization, in 2002. The Conservancy was formed in 1998 as a sister organization of the

community based

Cibolo Nature Center, founded by Brent and his wife Carolyn ten years earlier. The mission of the Cibolo Conservancy is the preservation and conservation of the cultural and natural resources of the Cibolo Creek Watershed and surrounding areas in the Texas Hill Country. Today, the Conservancy protects over twenty square miles of private land in Kendall, Bandera, Comal, Real, Uvalde, and Gillespie Counties.
“For Brent Evans, making people fall in love with the environment just comes naturally. As lifelong volunteer environmentalists, Evans and his wife, Carolyn, led the effort to create the Cibolo Nature Center in Boerne, transforming a thicket of woods and marshland into a tranquil nature trail and full-scale learning center. The Kendall County site draws tourists and school- children, as well as conservationists who despite their different perspectives encounter a strikingly common experience of nature as teacher and guide.” “Now, Evans has another vision: a regional system of parks and natural areas that will provide outdoor recreation, encourage water conservation, and protect wildlife


more importantly, he knows why.” – TEEA Award

October 4
Bill Carr, Observations of a Texas Botanist
Bill received a B. S. in botany from The Ohio State University in December 1978 and wasted no time moving to Texas, settling in Alpine in January 1979 before eventually relocating to Austin. He spent 25 years doing

field work

for Texas plant conservation programs, first with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and later with The Nature Conservancy of Texas (


). He has contributed about 25,000 specimens to the herbarium at the University of Texas at Austin. Since leaving TNCT in 2011, he has been working with private landowners to help identify the special plants and habitats on their properties. And since Spring 2015, he has been employed as one of the part-time assistant curators of the herbarium at the Plant Resources Center at the University of Texas.

November 1
David Winningham, PhD, Experiences in the Native Plant Business
David is the owner of “Natives of Texas”, a native plant nursery in Kerrville, TX. His presentation “Experiences in the Native Plant Business) will focus on educating people on how to garden in

the Texas

given the climate and water resources of the Texas Hill Country.  In addition, David will do a Q&A session on native plants.
David Winningham,


was born and raised in Texas. He graduated from Texas A&M with his BS in Physics in 1963 and earned fellowships that covered his MS and


tuition. He did his


thesis at the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies in Dallas from 1966-1970, working under a Canadian research professor on a Canadian/American international research satellite called ISIS. He joined the Southwest Research Institute (


) in San Antonio where he was a principal or co-investigator on a number of NASA and other research projects. David worked on a Mars Mission about 10 years ago and noted that “the ability to run a project like this successfully is almost directly proportional to having established a long term personal and professional relationship which reduces the necessity of a lot of formal checks and balances trust among the key players is essential.

David worked at SWRI for 30+ years. The nursery, “Natives of Texas” is the culmination of a life’s dream for its founder the late Betty Streetman Winningham (1942-2003). David and

nursery men

who work at “Natives of Texas” continue her tradition of excellence in growing and propagating Texas native plants.
David was born and raised in Texas. He graduated from Texas A&M with his BS in Physics in 1963 and earned fellowships that covered his MS and


tuition. He did his


thesis at the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies in Dallas from 1966-1970. He joined the Southwest Research Institute (


) in San Antonio where he worked or 30+ years, as principal or co-investigator on a number of NASA and other research projects. The nursery, “Natives of Texas” is the culmination of a life’s dream for its founder the late Betty Streetman Winningham, who also mentored two young men when they worked at the HEB in Kerrville – Ysmael Espinosa and Ernesto Carino, now owners of “Medina Garden Nursery.”

December 6
Potluck Social – Please bring your favorite dish to share! 


January 6
“20 Years in the Texas Hill Country”
Bill Neiman, Native American Seed
2015 marks another milestone for Native American Seed based on the Llano River near Junction.  As long-time landowners and new residents both know — the Texas Hill Country is a special place. Bill Neiman, co-founder of NAS, will share lessons learned on how to take care of our region’s beautiful landscape vistas and water resources.  Bill believes you can always learn to be a better land steward to protect and enjoy such benefits as clean air, clean water


a healthier human lifestyle. Be prepared to have your paradigm shifted and your ethics challenged.

February 3
Raul Pena and Barbara Lowenthal
Virtual Herbarium
After retiring from Shell Development, my wife and I bought some property here in the Texas Hill Country 18 years ago. Within the first two


we identified over 200 different wildflowers on our land.  At that time virtual herbariums were almost useless for identifying plants because they were nothing more than a collection of pictures grouped by family. The other resource was flipping through the pages of wildflowers books until you found a picture that matched your plant. That was what motivated me to develop a search engine that anybody could easily use to identify wildflowers. This was about the time that Barbara Lowenthal was compiling taxonomic descriptions of plants for the Riverside Nature Center in Kerrville, Texas. With these descriptions and pictures donated by over 47 members of the Native Plant Society and the Texas Master Naturalist Program, I was able to develop a relational database with a user-friendly interface that allows anyone to select characteristics they see in a plant to identify it. Although my degree is in Biology I spent most of my career with Shell Development in software support and a software development group. My wife and I are longterm members of Kerrville Native Plant Society. My wife, Sandy, helped start the Kerrville Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist Program and was the first president of that Chapter.
Bio for Ms. Lowenthal                                                                                                                           Barbara Lowenthal is a retired teacher, a Master Naturalist, a member of the Kerrville Chapter of the NPSOT and a member of Riverside Nature Center. Edith Bettinger, her former mentor, instilled a hunger to learn more about the native vegetation in the area


2004, with the support and encouragement of the Kerrville chapter, she, Raul and a team of photographers set out to document, with photos and written characteristics, the native plant species in Kerr and surrounding counties. Not being a photographer or a techie, her job has been to research and write the characteristics of the plants. And she is still at it.

March 3
Delmar Cain, Chuck Janzow, and Wilt Shaw
Native Plant Digital Photography

April 7
Naturalists of Frontier Texas
Lonnie Childs, immediate Past President of Native Plant Society of Texas, will highlight the century when the U.S.’s social frontier crept westward, opening new exploration, creating the greatest epoch of scientific discovery in our country’s history as early explorers examined and documented our diverse natural history. Childs will cover Texas, 1820 to 1880, when hundreds of naturalists searched for specimens to broaden knowledge and understanding of botany, zoology, paleontology, and geology. Their personal accounts of their travels in Texas not only provide fascinating reports of their


but also provide a view of the natural landscape prior to its alteration by European settlers. Charles Wright and Ferdinand Lindheimer (Father of Texas Botany) are two of the better known Texas explorers.

May 5
Soil Science
David Vaughan graduated from Stephen F. Austin in 1971 with a BS in Forestry.  He also earned

a MS

of Agriculture in Natural Resources Development from Texas A&M in 1977.  David has worked as an arborist with Etter Tree Care in San Antonio for the past 20 years.  He was among the first group of 22 arborists to be certified in Texas.  In addition, David is


Risk Assessment Qualified, Texas Oak Wilt Certified and a Commercial Certified Applicator with the TDA.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Alamo Forest Partnership and the San Antonio Arborists Association. David teaches the Soil Science section for the Certified Arborist Course for the SA Arborists Association.  He is a former Board of Director for the International Society of Arboriculture, Texas Chapter.
Soil Science
It takes a village to nurture a tree, a village of soil microbes. What we call soil is home to a vibrant community of bacterial, nematodes, protozoa, and micro-arthropods.  Trees and soil microbes are interdependent. By knowing more about physical, chemical, and biological properties of soil, the arborist is better equipped to mange trees in the urban environment.
The history of every nation is eventually written in the way in which it cares for its soil. This will be a presentation on soil, what is there and how to care for it.

June 2

Potluck Social


Summer Break

September 1
Teaming With Texas Wildlife – Richard Heilbrun

Teaming With Wildlife: True To Texas (TWW: True To Texas) is a

grass roots

organization that recognizes the value of healthy ecosystems and sustainable wildlife populations.   Texas has historically enjoyed abundant wildlife populations and is known for its diverse plants and animals and wide open spaces.
The Texas Conservation Action Plan is a roadmap to protect sensitive and declining species and ecosystems.  We acknowledge that populations are struggling to cope with ecosystem threats. Exploding human population, ongoing habitat loss, and changing ecosystem functionality impact wildlife species and their habitats. Many organizations have formed here in Texas to address these conservation issues. Whether your group is focused on general water


or a particular species, your actions complement goals of the TCAP.
Effective conservation requires input from experts, businesses, organizations


landowners to be viable. It is our hope that conservation


and businesses join their voices to each other to collaborate in resolving conservation issues here in Texas.   Doing so can increase communication among the key conservation players and serve as a useful resource to those looking for cohesive input from the conservation community.  TWW: TTT provides a one-stop-shop for those looking to get involved and informed with wildlife conservation.
Texans can shape the future of wildlife conservation and land management with collaborative partnerships and interdisciplinary collaboration, with guidance from the TCAP.  Join TWW: True To Texas and add your group’s voice to the chorus of wildlife conservation support on the Join the Coalition page at

Richard Heilbrun is the Conservation Outreach Program Leader for Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.  He is a wildlife biologist by


and has worked all over the state on projects that conserve wildlife, manage wildlife habitat, and help people connect with natural resources on a deeply personal level. He has worked with Bighorn sheep, ducks, Whooping Cranes, songbirds, raptors, quail, deer, dove, and bobcats.
Richard holds a Bachelors and Masters degree from Texas A&M University in wildlife ecology and has worked for Texas Parks & Wildlife Department for the past 13 years.    He is proud to have worked with landowners, urban residents, volunteers, conservation organizations, and the general public to advance stewardship of Texas’s natural resources.  He currently supervises the Urban Wildlife Technical Guidance Program, the Texas Nature Trackers Program, and the Texas Master Naturalist Program.  All of these programs aim to connect Texans with the outdoors, improve wildlife habitat throughout the state, and manage the state’s most sensitive wildlife populations.
Richard is a


of the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society, a graduate of the Natural Leaders Program, and a Rob & Bessie Welder Wildlife Foundation Fellow.  He is a Certified Wildlife Biologist®, and lives in San Antonio with his wife and daughter.

October 6
There is a reception for meeting attendees and photo contest participants beginning at 6:30pm. Winners of our first Native Plant Photo Contest for local youth will also be awarded at 7pm.


Native Plant Rescues
Veronica Hawk, rescue coordinator for the Boerne Chapter NPSOT, will present a brief overview of the rescue program and how rescues might benefit members and homeowners new to the Boerne area. By contacting developers, realtors


landowners, we can work together to identify property that will be developed and make a classroom of a strip of land that will become a road. Native plant rescues are a great way to learn how to cultivate whatever land you have to benefit our wildlife, our neighborhood ecosystems and enhance the next generation’s appreciation of what is truly Texan.
Veronica Hawk has been a member of the Boerne chapter of NPSOT for 7 years. During that time, she participated in the Cibolo Nature Center’s Wildlife Field Research Days, has been the rescue committee coordinator, held the vice president/programs position in 2011 and was Secretary for the chapter in 2014. She gardens in


has just gotten her second Jack Russell terrier and is interested in rescuing and planting more natives in her yard.
LOCATION – The Social begins at 6:30 PM and presentation at 7 PM. Patrick L. Heath Library, 451 N. Main, Boerne, TX 78006

November 3
Growing Texas Native Plants from Seed – Chuck JanzowChuck Janzow is a founding member of the NPSOT-Boerne Chapter. He was a science teacher at Boerne High School for over 30 years and is a self-taught horticulturist.  The Cibolo Nature Center Library has an excellent collection of books.  A favorite of many NPSOT members is Jill Nokes book “How to Grow Native Plants of Texas and the Southwest.”  Jill lists Chuck Janzow among her “collaborators” and cites his advice many times in her book.  Chuck and his wife Martha Barker can often be seen harvesting seeds from native plants in the Texas Hill Country.  For many years Chuck has brought his “Texas Natives” to the Cibolo Nature Center Annual Plant Sale; plants that are often not available commercially at area nurseries.  Many of those plants can be seen in gardens throughout the Texas Hill Country.  Chuck is not only a wonderful speaker but


is very giving of this time in his efforts to save and propagate “Texas Native Plants.”

December 1
Holiday Potluck! All welcome! Please bring a dish to share!


January 7
Dave Barker, herpetologist, will discuss NICE! Snakes, Native Snakes in the Texas Hill Country.                       Dave has been a field biologist, museum preparator, college instructor, and public speaker. He was a supervisor of the Department of Herpetology and of the Children’s Zoo at the Dallas Zoo, and Curator of Education at the Gladys Porter Zoo in Brownsville. Dave is also a professional


Dave resides in Kendall County near the headwaters of Cibolo Creek. He is a volunteer at the Cibolo Nature


and has participated in the WFR events with the herpetofauna survey teams for the past 11 years. He is a writer and has co-authored five books with his wife Tracy. He has authored and co-authored about 100 articles, both popular and professional, and several chapters in books.


much of his attention has been focused on the increasing influence that animal rights organizations have on


and in the media.

February 4
Our youngest member, Xanthis Barthel, will discuss edible native plants at her home and President-elect,


Clarke, will discuss her experiences using native medicinal plants.

March 4
James Rice, Superintendent for Albert and Bessie Kronkosky State Natural Area in Pipe Creek, will discuss the past land use of the property as well as the current work being done to prepare the natural area for public visitation.

April 1
Lonnie Childs and Dennis Perz will host

a brainstorming sessions

aimed at aligning goals at the individual, chapter, and state level. This will be followed by a presentation on “The Basics of Starting Your Native Plant Garden”.

May 6
“Water Policy 101”
In his “Water Policy 101” presentation, David Langford will attempt to make us aware of the complex web of policies,

policy makers

, and jurisdictions

that  determine

–usually with little input at all from us–how water flows from its source to our faucets, and who makes the decisions during this journey.
He intends for us to walk out of the meeting armed with the knowledge we need to get answers to our water questions, to understand what we read about water issues, and, most importantly of all, to advocate effectively for sensible management of our most crucial natural resource. He will provide a detailed reference handout that will extend his comments and offer points of contact for engaging in water-related advocacy.

June 3
Ice Cream Social

September 2
Craig Hensley on Confusing Composites: A Wildflower Primer
Look in any field guide or the flora of any state and among the most prominent members are those of the Asteraceae. Like winter sparrows and native grasses, composites can give even the most observant of us fits. This presentation will attempt to take a diverse and confusing group of wildflowers and make them a bit more manageable – and enjoyable to get to know.
Craig Hensley is the Park Interpreter/Naturalist at Guadalupe River State Park. He has an undergraduate degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Management and a Master of Science degree in Zoology. He has been an educator about the natural world for nearly thirty years.

October 7 – Meeting to be held at Kronkosky Center in Boerne
Bill Lindemann will present on planting for bluebirds.
A native Texan from Gonzales County, Lindemann earned BS and MA degrees from the University of Texas in Austin. As an exploration geologist, he worked for Exxon around the world searching for oil and gas, uranium, synthetic fuels


other minerals for 32 years. Retiring to Fredericksburg in 1994, Lindemann became a self-trained naturalist to fully appreciate the wonderful natural heritage found in the Hill Country. He has written a weekly newspaper column on birding for 17 years, twice served as president of the Native Plant Society of Texas, founded the Fredericksburg Nature Center and is a frequent speaker on nature subjects. He joined the Hill Country Land Trust in 2003 and served as its president for four years working to take the all-volunteer organization to one with an executive director while attaining accreditation along the way.

November 4 – Movie Night!
Showing of the documentary “Green Fire” in the Cibolo Nature Center Auditorium

December 2 – Potluck Social
We accept donations of food and toiletry items for the Kendall County


Shelter during the Social.


January 8

Michael Warriner
Invertebrate Biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
Topic: Native Bees of Texas
Prior to coming to Texas, Michael Warriner worked as the invertebrate zoologist for the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and as a research associate working on forest entomology at Mississippi State University


bees provide agricultural and ecological services that are valued in the billions of dollars. Despite their profound roles in human food production and ecosystem maintenance, they are all but forgotten as targets for management on most public and private lands. This session will discuss the needs of native bees and practices that can be implemented to protect and augment resources these insects require.

February 5

Ryan Bass
Topic: Cibolo Creek Watershed Protection Plan, “Vegetation management can improve watershed.”
Ryan Bass is the


Conservation/Economic Development Coordinator for the City of Boerne.

March 5

Craig Hensley
Topic: Texas Milkweeds
Craig Hensley, TPWD Park Interpreter for Guadalupe River State Park, will discuss the natural history of Texas milkweeds with a focus on those found in the Hill Country.

April 2

Mia McCraw
Topic: The Texas Native Seeds program
Research Associate for the Central Texas portion of the new Texas Native Seeds program


is a graduate of Texas A&M University with Bachelor degrees in Rangeland Ecology and Management and Ecological Restoration. As Research Associate for the Central Texas portion of the new Texas Native Seeds program, her primary responsibilities include opening communications with area landowners and collecting native-plant seeds for propagation and evaluation

May 1

Chad Norris
Topic: Springs of the Edwards Plateau
Chad Norris, TPWD Natural Resource Specialist with Coastal Fisheries out of Austin, will discuss the state of the springs of the Edwards Plateau.

June 4

Dr. Elizabeth Bates
Topic: Potluck dinner and presentation
Wildlife Biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife


Bates is our resident wildlife biologist at the CNC. Tonight she will introduce herself and talk a bit about her position.


No meetings scheduled.

September 3

Joy Fisher Hein
Topic: Landscaping and Painting with Native Hill Country Plants, 4 decades of Living and Learning
Artist, long-time NPSOT member, and Texas Master Naturalist, Joy Fisher Hein.

October 1

Micah Voulgaris
Topic: Kendall County Groundwater
Micah Voulgaris, General Manager of the Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District, will discuss our local climate, groundwater conservation, and our local groundwater supply.
Location: Note, this meeting will be held at the Log Cabin at the Agricultural Heritage Museum.

November 5

Ernesto Carino and Ysmael Espinoza
Topic: Medina Garden Nursery
Ernesto and Ysmaelself-taught gardeners and co-owners of Medina Garden Nursery, will discuss the nursery and the work they are involved with, searching for and propagating

water conserving

plants from the Hill Country, West Texas, and Northern Mexico. They will also discuss building and planting new gardens, where plants grow the best and how to care for them.

December 3

December Potluck Social

Past Meetings


January 3

Rich Zarria

Topic:  Appropriate Xeriscape for the Hill Country

February 7

Wendy Leonard


at Rancho Diana (City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department Natural Areas)Topic:  Bracted Twistflower (Streptanthus bracteatus): The Ecology of a Rare Texas Endemic

March 6

Michael Nentwich
City of San Antonio foresterTopic:  TBA

April 3

Susan Sander
Susan’s bio from the Hill Country Nature Quest website
“Susan Sander is basically a tree-hugging nature nerd that transplanted to Texas in 1983 from Washington Island in Lake Michigan. Earned a master degree in environmental land-use planning. Founded the Riverside Nature Center in Kerrville in 1989 in order to find out what was what in the Hill Country. Wrote Eco-Notes, a weekly newspaper column for 11 years on local environmental topics and issues; author of “A Treasury of Texas Flora: The botanical watercolors of Marie C. Wesby.” Worked for the Texas Forest Service in oak wilt suppression and stewardship programs, plus conducted training workshops on non-native plants. (Queen of hand-outs). Recently retired from the Texas Forest Service, she is Education Advisor for the Bamberger Ranch Preserve. And is currently, working with Hill Country Concepts, landscaping various development projects throughout the Hill Country using native plants. Susan has led Big Tree


and given Native and Invasive Plant seminars for Nature Quest for several years.”Topic:  Identifying Hill Country Trees by a key

May 1

Cathy Downs
Master NaturalistTopic:  Kerrville-Schreiner Park Butterfly Garden – Butterflies and their Host Plants

June 5

Dr. Marcy Brown-Marsden
Associate Professor and Department Chair of Biology, University of Dallas
Dr. Brown-Marsden spoke at the 2010 State NPSOT symposium on Native Myco–heterotrophic Orchids as Conservation Indicators


:  Hexalectris orchid


No meetings scheduled.

September 4

Peggy Darr
Topic:  TBA

October 2

Mark Mosely
Topic:  TBA
This meeting will be held at the Patrick Heath Library at 451 N. Main Street in Boerne.

November 6

Shelly Maher
Topic:  TBA

December 4

Winter social event.


January 4

Dave Barrett
Owner of Where Wild Things Grow Nursery in Leon Springs
Dave will share his knowledge acquired over many years of gardening and designing gardens. By paying attention to plants preferred environments and growth, Dave has been able to produce many sustainable gardens that come back year after year. He will discuss plant placement, talk about soil, soil and more soil, and teach us when and how much to cut back in order for our plantings to have long, healthy lives.Dave gave a similar talk last Spring at the San Antonio plant sale that the participants were excited about. Dave talked about planting from scratch and the experience he has learned from 9 years of planting Natives, plus tricks on how to have a successful garden in the Hill Country. It takes a little work and dedication. Cutting back is a big part of gardening, twice a year Feb and July, yes July, is important. Watering is obviously very important, too. Dave is planning on having a question and


session, which has proven to be fun and interactive. Dave says “I really enjoy planting gardens, I have put a lot of effort into deer proof gardens and lots of


and my classic line is ‘if you plant the right plants in Texas, you will have a lovely


if you plant the wrong plants you won’t’. I will be emphasizing the importance of soil!!! when and how to cut back.”Topic:  Planning for a Sustainable Garden – plant selection, placement and cutting back

February 1

Dr. O. W. (Bill) Van Auken
Professor of Physiological Plant


. Van Auken is a professor of Biology and Ecology at The University of Texas at San Antonio and has been there for 35 years. He received his B.S. degree in Biology from High Point College and then went west with his family to the University of Utah. He received his M.S. in Zoology at the University of Utah and continued in school there where he received his Ph.D. degree in Physiological Plant Ecology. He studied growth rates of Salt Lake Phytoplankton. Upon


he came to Texas as an Assistant Professor at Texas State University. From there he moved to Southwest Research in San Antonio and stayed there for five years. An opening for a plant ecologist came available at the


UTSA for which he applied and was hired. He has worked with undergraduates, M.S.


Ph.D. students. He has published over one hundred papers in books and various journals including Ecology, Plant Ecology, Oecologia, the American Journal of Botany, the Canadian Journal of Microbiology, the Texas Journal of Science, the Southwestern Naturalist and others.Dr. Van Auken’s research interests are physiological plant ecology, especially gas exchange phenomena. They also include species interactions, especially

plant plant

interactions. He has a broad background including training in physiology, anatomy, ecology, and conservation biology. This background includes studies with a diverse array of organisms. He has had a number of research grants and contracts in many areas of biology and in many parts of the USA. This broadness of training has been an asset in the development of his biological


and has been essential for his work. He is currently studying species interactions in temperate woodlands and grasslands, including both common and very rare species. He is studying these species to understand interference or competition and its role in determining species distributions. In addition, he is interested in the role of disturbances on community development and succession. These studies are contemplated to improve the understanding of species


and to make him a better teacher and researcher.Topic: Distribution and potential causes of the distribution of Verbesina virginica (Asteraceae, Frost Weed) in Central Texas

March 1

Kip Kiphart
As a retired cardio-vascular surgeon turned Texas Master Naturalist, Dr. Ridlon (Kip) Kiphart found his passion for monarch butterflies through a rather indirect route. His son, working for a native plant nursery in Texas in the early


, introduced several plants to Kip’s front yard in Dallas, and not only did Kip get hooked on the native foliage, but he also admired the butterflies that came to nectar. Captivated, he quickly set out to learn the differences among monarchs, viceroys and queens, and taking pictures. Following training as a Texas Master


in 1998, he gradually immersed himself in butterfly biology and ecology, and butterfly gardening.Through his volunteer work at Cibolo Nature Center in Boerne, Kip was introduced to the Monarch Larva Monitoring Program in 2002 by Monarch Larva Monitoring Project volunteer Mary Kennedy. After monitoring eggs and larvae that year, he officially became an MLMP Trainer at a workshop conducted at Bamberger Ranch in Texas. He has subsequently conducted dozens of other workshops for volunteers from CNC and Master Naturalists throughout Texas, including the popular semi-annual MLMP@CNC Back Porch Review and the TMN annual meeting. Kip is a presenter at the Texas Monarch Monitoring Project semi-annual workshop. Many of the dots on the Texas MLMP map are the direct result of Kip’s powers of persuasion and enthusiasm.In 2008 he received the Presidential Volunteer Service Award from the President’s Council on Service and Participation for volunteering 5000 hours for the TMN program. Kip has also continued to monitor monarchs every year since 2002, both at home in suburban Bergheim and at the Cibolo Nature Center. Finally, he is involved in a variety of other Wildlife Field Research projects, both as a participant and official photographer.Topic: Monarchs Ask: Where Is My Milkweed?

In 2010, the monarch was added to the World Wildlife Fund’s Ten Most Threatened Species List due to loss of habitat in Mexico, the USA and Canada. Learn about the amazing monarch butterfly and how you can help it by creating a Monarch Waystation, a butterfly garden with milkweed, the monarch’s host plant. Become a participant in “Bring Back The Monarchs” through Boerne NPSOT’s “M4M: Milkweed For Monarchs”.

April 5

Karen H. Clary, Ph.D.

Karen Clary is a resource specialist with the Wildlife Habitat Assessment Branch, Texas Parks


Wildlife Department, Austin. Her primary role is to review and comment on potential natural resource impacts for all kinds of infrastructure development projects in about 1/6 of the counties of Texas. She obtained a Ph.D. in Plant Systematics on the Phylogeny, Biogeography and Morphological Evolution of the Genus Yucca from the University of Texas in 1997. On the side, Karen teaches botany classes at the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center and has been on board as an organizing committee member for the Texas Plant Conservation Conference for the past 10 years


Yuccas of Texas

A little known fact is that Texas is home to more species of Yucca plants than any other state in the U.S. The talk will focus on how to tell yuccas apart, their unique pollination by the Yucca Moth, and historic and prehistoric ethno-botanical uses.Also: Wind Energy Development in Texas
After the Yucca talk, Dr. Clary will also be on hand to answer questions you might have on the environmental impacts of Wind Energy Development in Texas.

May 3

Mark Duff

Mark Duff is a Staff Forester with the Texas Forest Service in Kerrville. Since 1991, he has been implementing the Oak Wilt Suppression Project, the Stewardship Incentive Program, and served urban and rural forestry needs throughout a seven-county region in the Hill


of central Texas. Mark is a Certified Forester and Board Certified Master Arborist and has worked as a consultant in public and private forestry-related sectors. Mark’s career has taken him from Paraguay to Alaska (and most places in between). He grew up in Venezuela and Puerto Rico. Mark has an Associate in Science in Forest Technology, a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and Natural Resources Management from Colorado State University, and a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Arkansas


Oak Wilt Identification and Management program with a Q&A follow up

June 7

George M. Diggs, Jr.

George Diggs has been a faculty member in the Biology Department of Austin College, Sherman, Texas, since 1981 and is a Research Associate at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas. His research interests include the plants of Texas, the taxonomy of the Ericaceae (Blueberry Family), and the connection between evolution and human health. In his


he has traveled to all seven continents. He is the lead author on two books, the Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas (1999) and Volume 1 of the Illustrated Flora of East Texas (2006), and has published numerous articles in scientific journals. He is currently co-authoring a book on the Ferns and Lycophytes of Texas and a book on the human health implications of evolution. He is active in Austin College’s Center for Environmental Studies


Texas Ferns—Surprising Diversity

Texas has more species of native ferns and similar plants than any other state in the continental U.S. The wettest part of the state, East Texas has numerous ferns, but the Hill Country also has many species and the far western part of the state, the dry Trans-Pecos, has even more—in fact, it has the most of any part of Texas. Some species are very rare, occurring in only one Texas county and nowhere else in the entire U.S. Others thrive in the most extreme conditions—in crevices on huge exposed granite outcrops, underwater on the bottoms of ponds or lakes, or inside the mouths of caves. One species is a tiny floating aquatic often less than half an inch long while another has leaves up to 13 feet in length. We will explore some of the rare and unusual species and the reasons why Texas is number one in species richness.


No meetings scheduled.

September 6

Lisa Lennon

Lisa Lennon has a Master’s in horticulture from Tarleton State University, and over 16


experience working in the green industry. She has previously worked as landscape horticulturist (commercial & residential), and Texas Cooperative Extension Agent (Urban Integrated Pest Management). Lisa recently completed a Master’s in Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona in May 2011. She continues to write her monthly column, “Plant Talk”, for the Texas Nursery and Landscape Association’s “Green” magazine.

Topic: Pocket Pollination: Landscape Requirements For Native Bees

Native bees and pollination habitats are declining at alarming rates in North America, and have become more widespread because of development and related built landscapes deficient of pollinator-specific requirements. This lack of native habitat has caused a serious threat to bees that provide pollination services in urban as well as rural areas. Pollination serviced by bees is vital — not only because of the economic value of food production and related agribusiness, but equally as important in keeping native plant communities and associated ecosystems healthy and functioning. Pocket (providing habitat in small spaces) pollination suggests that bees and the urban environment can benefit from even small areas of native vegetation.

October 4

Rufus Stephens
Wildlife Biologist for the Texas Parks and WildlifeRufus Stephens serves as the wildlife biologist for Comal and Kendall counties for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in Boerne, Texas. Stephens earned a baccalaureate degree in wildlife ecology from Texas A & M University. He began his career in Oklahoma, Missouri


Kansas, before moving to San Antonio to work for Texas Parks and Wildlife, as an urban biologist. He helped found the Texas Master Naturalist volunteer program, an education program for volunteers who work on nature related projects. In his current position, Stephens lends his expertise in helping landowners manage for a variety of wildlife


The Triple K Ranch, located west of Boerne, which was donated to the State of Texas by the Kronkosky family.

November 1

Amie Treuer-Kuehn
Plant Ecologist with the Texas Parks & Wildlife DepartmentAmie Treuer-Kuehn earned a masters degree in Biology with a focus on Plant Ecology from the University of Texas at Arlington. Prior to her career at TPWD, she taught an undergraduate Plant Science course and worked as a field research assistant in Alaska and Texas. At the meeting, Amie will discuss mapping methodology, unique and interesting plant communities and threats to those communities


November 2010 article in the Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine describes her work which is “part of a five-year survey whose ambitious goal is to map the vegetation systems of Texas with unprecedented accuracy”. Here is a December 2009 article in the Austin Statesman also describing her work collecting data for the


Vegetation Mapping in the State of Texas: Floristic Trials and Treasures

December 6

Winter social event.


January 5

Molly Keck
Integrated Pest Management Program Specialist with Texas AgriLife Extension in Bexar CountyTopic:  Pollinators in our landscapes.
You might be surprised to learn that there are many other important pollinators in our area other than honey bees. There are several different species of bees along with butterflies, beetles, wasps, and even flies that contribute to the beauty of our yards and landscape. This topic will cover the basic pollinators in our gardens and who you should appreciate


their benefits. We will also cover how to encourage pollinators, to help spread the color!

February 2

Wendy Cooley Leonard, Jayne Neal, and Cheryl Hamilton
City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Natural AreasCheryl Hamilton, a retired educator, is an Alamo Area Master Naturalist, a member of the San Antonio chapter of NPSOT and a team leader for the San Antonio Invaders satellite of the Texas Invasive Plant and Pest Council. Jayne Neal and Wendy Leonard are biologists with the City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department Natural Areas. Jayne has an MS in Wildlife Biology from Texas State University. Wendy Leonard is finishing up an MS in Plant Ecology at the University of Texas at San Antonio


:  Invasive Plants and the San Antonio Invaders
Invasive species cost billions of dollars to monitor and control, not to mention the damage they cause native ecosystems. A single fruiting nandina can not only sucker but can also produce tens of seeds giving birth to a virtual nandina forest. Enter the San Antonio Invaders, an invasive plant eradication group that has documented, mapped, and removed over 5,000 invasive plants (many of them nandinas) during the course of a year on City of San Antonio Natural Areas. Cheryl has recruited almost 30 volunteers who have contributed nearly 300 volunteer hours. Cheryl, Wendy


Jayne will introduce you to the Natural Areas, discuss why invasive plants are such a scourge, and tell you how the San Antonio Invaders work.

March 2

Jan Fulkerson
Texas Forest ServiceJan has been an Urban Wildland Interface Specialist, focusing on Neighborhood and Community Planning, with the Texas Forest Service since 2001. She has extensive training with the National Firewise Program and the NWCG (National Wildfire Coordination Group) incident management system. She delivers Firewise and Wildfire Preparedness


assists with RX


and serves as an Information Officer. She came to the Texas Forest Service from the City of Austin where she was the City Tree Planting Coordinator


:  Native plant use in fire prevention

April 6

Bill Carr
The Nature ConservancyBill Carr received a B.S. in Botany from The Ohio State University in December 1978 and hitch-hiked to Texas in January 1979 because the flora of Texas seemed more interesting than that of Ohio. I worked with the Texas Natural Heritage Program (part of the network that provides NatureServe with much of its information about rare species) from 1988 to 1995 and with The Nature Conservancy of Texas since 1996


:  Special native plants in riparian habitats.
Bill will talk about rare plants that we might see on Delmar Cain’s place during the walk on April 16. Or as Bill suggests, “maybe we should call it ‘some interesting plants of the eastern Edwards Plateau,’ or something to that effect.” Bill will be sure to discuss the “Boerne Bean” and other recent discoveries.

May 4

Joe Liggio
Co-author of “Wild Orchids of Texas”Joe Liggio will talk about the native orchids of the local Texas Hill Country. Mr. Liggio is an environmental coordinator and botanist for the


Department of Transportation of Houston. He is also a freelance writer and nature photographer whose articles and photographs have appeared in books, magazines, and calendars


:  Native Orchids

June 1

Topic: Mid-year social


No meetings scheduled.

September 7

Dave Barrett (Meeting was cancelled due to weather.)
Owner of Where Wild Things Grow Nursery in Leon SpringsDave will share his knowledge acquired over many years of gardening and designing gardens. By paying attention to plants preferred environments and growth, Dave has been able to produce many sustainable gardens that come back year after year. He will discuss plant placement, talk about soil, soil and more soil, and teach us when and how much to cut back in order for our plantings to have long, healthy lives


:  Planning for a Sustainable Garden – plant selection, placement and cutting back

October 5

Topic: Chapter’s 10th Anniversary

November 2

Janis Merritt
Topic:  Design Tips
Janis will be discussing:
• The three elements of garden design: form, texture, and color.
• The four strategies for


scheme in the garden.
• The importance of planning, curb appeal, foundation planting, accent plants, and outdoor living.

December 7

Winter social event.


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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