Awards! Nominations Open for Memorial, Native Star, and Digital Media Award Candidates

About the Awards

Each year our Society recognizes achievements of individuals and groups whose work supports our mission and enriches our understanding or appreciation of Texas native plants. Awards are presented for acts of conservation and public service, excellence in writing, horticultural achievement, lifetime achievement, and service. These awards are selected by the Awards Committee with approval by our State Board. Recipients are honored at the Awards Banquet during the Fall Symposium.

Nominations Are Open

The Awards Committee seeks input from Society members and nonmembers to identify qualified candidates for the Native Star, Digital Media and seven Memorial Awards. (Nominations for the Benny Simpson Fellows Awards and Contest Awards will be opened later this year.) Nominations can be submitted from March 1 through May 31, 2023. Details of nominee’s work are required, and photos are helpful. Complete contact information for the nominees and the submitter are required. Please ensure your candidate is in compliance with the nomination rules, qualifications, and specifics as described below.

Rules and Qualifications:

  • Anyone can submit a nomination.
  • Nominees need not be members of the Society, with the exception of the Shirley Lusk Memorial Award.
  • Only those publications or acts published or performed within the past five years will be considered.
  • Only publications that deal with native Texas flora on Texas soil, and acts of discovery, rediscovery, conservation or service, in a broad sense, shall be considered for awards.
  • Publications can be books, monographs, papers, magazine articles, etc. If the publication is a paper or magazine article, it should be original or groundbreaking work.
  • An award will be given only when there is justification for it. Only one award can be given in each category. An award does not need to be given in every category every year.
  • No one individual, group, or organization may win more than one award in any calendar year.
  • A person cannot receive an award more than once. View previous award winners here.
  • Although it is encouraged, an award recipient is not required to accept an award in person at the Fall Symposium. If the award is not accepted in person, it can be mailed to the recipient or given in person to a designated substitute.
  • Award recipients are expected to pay for their own transportation and lodging for the Fall Symposium. Memorial, Native Star, and Digital Media recipients may receive a complimentary Saturday registration package for themselves and banquet tickets for two.
  • None of the above shall preclude the State Board from giving awards of merit, service, appreciation, etc., to members or non-members of the Society.

Submission Deadline: May 31st

Voting is open now and runs though May, 31, 2023 via the nomination form.

If you have any questions about your submission or the process, please email

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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