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Annual awards for 2022 announced

Every year the Native Plant Society of Texas recognizes organizations and individuals that advance our mission. Their work will be honored during our 2022 symposium to be held September 22-24, in Alpine, Texas.  You can attend in person or virtually by registering before midnight Wednesday, September 14. We will tell the stories of extraordinary people from all over Texas who have done amazing things that champion our mission.

The presentation will feature awards from these categories: State Board, Benny J. Simpson Fellows, Memorial and President’s. The evening is a fun and exciting event. It also includes announcing our photo, newsletter and video contest winners. The finale will be the recognition of the Chapter of the Year.

Award of Appreciation

The State Board has conferred an Award of Appreciation for work that supports, enhances, and furthers our mission within the Society to Gary Bowers of the Williamson County Chapter for making the Wilco Chapter a model of efficiency and adaptation during changing times, the chapter’s technology and methods are trailblazing models for others to follow.

Native Star Award

The Native Star Award is given to an organization or agency for a specific act of conservation or public service.  The winners this year were recognized for partnership efforts in the rescue of “Asclepias” spp. plants, nurturing and successfully transplanting 300 plants to the Frisco Stewart Creek Wetlands Preserve.  Recipients include the City of Frisco Urban Forestry, the Blackland Prairie Master Naturalist Chapter, the Lewisville Aquatic Ecosystem Research Facility and Rick and Lisa Travis who spearheaded the partnership efforts.

Digital Media Award

The Digital Media Award recognizes outstanding digital publications featuring Texas native plants. The winner is Tom Lebsack for his website: Texas Wildbuds, a collection of Texas wildflower photos taken around the state with most from Central Texas and Big Bend.  Included are descriptions and references for each of the plants.  This exceptional website is organized to show the species by color, name and places where the photos were taken.

Fellows Award

The Fellows Award is presented to individuals whose work enriches the Society at the state, regional or chapter level. It is intended to recognize work within the Society and embodies “grass roots” recognition by members of our fellow members, since members determine the winner through a voting process. Chosen by the membership from a list of members with ten years of service. This year’s Fellows are Carol Clark, Ilse Meier, Rodney Barton and Fred Zagst. Carol Clark is renowned for her native plant conservation education work especially related to Monarch’s.  Ilse Meier has volunteered for numerous events over the years and especially the Monarch Waystation near Salado. Rodney Barton and Fred Zagst are recognized for activities and actions benefitting their chapters and dedication to the native plants of Texas.

Memorial Awards

Our Memorial Awards help us to stay connected to the people from the past who were important in the study of Texas native plants and those who founded and developed our Society. Through these awards we honor those who are continuing the efforts today. Winners of the memorial awards are chosen by the Awards Committee, consisting of Ricky Linex, chair; Linda Knowles, Kim Conrow, and Michael Eason.

Mary Jo Laughlin and Dr. Eula Whitehouse Memorial Award

The Mary Jo Laughlin and Dr. Eula Whitehouse Memorial Award is awarded for visual art that illustrates, interprets, or promotes Texas native plants. Ted Lee Eubanks was selected for an incredible collection of detailed photographs that he freely shares with the public to enjoy, through Facebook and various museums, schools, and art exhibits across Texas. His work speaks for itself but his purpose behind the work is educating as many people as possible and he has done an incredible job at that.

Shirley Lusk Memorial Award

The Shirley Lusk Memorial Award honors a community scientist for collecting and preserving Texas native plants for public education by providing outstanding contribution of herbarium vouchers. Casey Williams is recognized for collecting ~ 350 specimens, with a focus on aquatic plants of Texas, with collections housed at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas in Fort Worth and the University of Texas at Austin. 

Carroll Abbott Memorial Award

The Carroll Abbott Memorial Award is for writings in the popular vein on Texas native plants. Dexter Peacock and Forrest S. Smith have been selected for their book A Photographic Guide to the Vegetation of the South Texas Sand Sheet. Organized with the non-botanist or beginner in mind, this book includes 200 of the most common grasses, flowering plants, vines, cacti, and woody plants of the South Texas Sand Sheet which is a vast region covering more than two million acres at the southern tip of the state, just north of the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Donovan Stewart Correll Memorial Award

The Donovan Stewart Correll Memorial Award is for scientific writing in the field of the native flora of Texas. This year Elizabeth McGreevy is recognized for Wanted! Mountain Cedars Dead and Alive, a well-researched book that tells the story and the science of Mountain Cedar trees that grow in the Texas Hill Country. Through a series of arguments, this book serves to replace anti-cedar sentiments with a more constructive, less emotional approach to Hill Country land managements and a perspective that not all Mountain Cedars are bad.

Nancy Benedict Memorial Award

The Nancy Benedict Memorial Award is for a specific of conservation or public service in the field of Texas native plants. Martha Mullens is recognized for educating the public in the value of native plants and recognizing people who have contributed over the years, through her articles, books reviews, and a series on women botanists – celebrating Texas native plants.

Lynn Lowrey Memorial Award

The Lynn Lowrey Memorial Award is for horticultural achievement. Native plant growers are of the utmost importance in providing ecoregion-specific species to nurseries and the public. Martin Simonton is honored for propagating native plants collected during his travels throughout Texas, providing unusual or hard to find native plants thus adding diversity to the nursery trade. The Society encourages growers throughout Texas to focus on native plants that are at home in the ecoregion they service.

Charles Leonard Weddle Memorial Award

The Charles Leonard Weddle Memorial Award is for lifetime achievement in the field of Texas native plants. This year the committee awarded the honor to Bill Hopkins for longtime service and achievement in website development with vast contributions through writing articles, book reviews, and volunteerism in local and state leadership. Bill has served as president of his local Cross Timbers Chapter, rose to become president of NPSOT and now continues to serve again as president of the Cross Timbers Chapter. There is not a single member of NPSOT who is not aware of who Bill Hopkins is and the dedication he has shown with his varied leadership roles to our organization and his dedication to educating others on the values of the native plants of Texas.

President’s Award

Society presidents have the privilege to award honors at their discretion. This year President Linda Knowles awarded a President’s Award to Kimber Kaushik for creating the Society Bingo game and the extraordinary work in 2021 in leading the Grants and Scholarship committee and chapters to fund a record setting 14 graduate student grants and 8 undergraduate student scholarships during her tenure as Vice President of Education.