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Awards Committee Chair

Laura Legett
Chapter
Cross Timbers
Committee’s General Scope and Responsibility
Recommends recipients for annual state awards to the State Board and oversees follow-up work for the fall symposium and winter magazine publication. Oversees Benny Simpson Honors selection and folow-up work.
Biography
I was very lucky to grow up in Austin spending lots of time outdoors. Waller Creek ran through our back yard, so I learned about frogs, toads, and snakes at an early age, and we fed the cardinals and blue jays shelled pecans in our front yard. In addition to several terrariums, I had a small greenhouse full of begonias and African violets (it was the 1960s after all). I’ve been an avid birder and member of Travis Audubon for about 15 years. Birding with Jane Tillman brought me to NPSOT. I joined the Austin chapter in 2014, along with my husband, and we joined the Hill Country chapter in 2017 after moving to Hays County. I have served as the president of our chapter for the past year and a half. As a native Texan, I value our native plants for their beauty and resiliency, and their role in providing for wildlife and human life. As a NPSOT member, I appreciate the educational and volunteer opportunities that the organization provides. I think this is an exciting time to volunteer at the State level of the organization. The accomplishments of the last several years, including the addition of an Executive Director, make it possible for NPSOT to advocate for our mission more effectively. My background is in sales, marketing, and nonprofit development. I enjoy making connections with people and exploring opportunities for collaboration. I look forward to working with the State and local chapters to increase both our membership and our positive impact on conservation in Texas.
Laura Legett

Awards Committee Chair

Chapter
Cross Timbers
Committee’s General Scope and Responsibility
Recommends recipients for annual state awards to the State Board and oversees follow-up work for the fall symposium and winter magazine publication. Oversees Benny Simpson Honors selection and folow-up work.
Biography
I was very lucky to grow up in Austin spending lots of time outdoors. Waller Creek ran through our back yard, so I learned about frogs, toads, and snakes at an early age, and we fed the cardinals and blue jays shelled pecans in our front yard. In addition to several terrariums, I had a small greenhouse full of begonias and African violets (it was the 1960s after all). I’ve been an avid birder and member of Travis Audubon for about 15 years. Birding with Jane Tillman brought me to NPSOT. I joined the Austin chapter in 2014, along with my husband, and we joined the Hill Country chapter in 2017 after moving to Hays County. I have served as the president of our chapter for the past year and a half. As a native Texan, I value our native plants for their beauty and resiliency, and their role in providing for wildlife and human life. As a NPSOT member, I appreciate the educational and volunteer opportunities that the organization provides. I think this is an exciting time to volunteer at the State level of the organization. The accomplishments of the last several years, including the addition of an Executive Director, make it possible for NPSOT to advocate for our mission more effectively. My background is in sales, marketing, and nonprofit development. I enjoy making connections with people and exploring opportunities for collaboration. I look forward to working with the State and local chapters to increase both our membership and our positive impact on conservation in Texas.
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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