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Organization: Fredericksburg

Discover Friends of the Fredericksburg Nature Center

“I’m excited to talk about the Fredericksburg Nature Center and the Friends’ plans to construct an Interpretive Center at the park, which will include a meeting venue, educational programming space, exhibits, expanded native plant gardens, and a children’s play area,” noted Lonnie Childs, the October speaker for the chapter monthly meeting. “The new Interpretive Center will be a center for environmental education with a specific emphasis on children.”

Activity

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Sandi Kennedy captured a gield trip through Kathy Saucier’s garden. Native plants thrive softening the hardscape of fallen trees.

Chapter Organization

The public is always welcome to our Chapter Meetings and programs Regular public chapter meetings are the fourth Tuesday of the month in our new venue: St. Joseph’s Halle, 212

Crossroads of the Eclipses: How Plants and Dark Skies are Connected in the Texas Hill Country

The total solar eclipse’s path of totality passes through the rolling terrain of the Hill Country. “We are excited to have Ms. Davies join us for our June 27 meeting to share her insights on dark skies, the upcoming eclipses, and how plants might be affected,” said Deborah Simmons, President, Fredericksburg Chapter of NPSOT. “We hope the public will come join us to learn more and bring their questions.”

Chapter

Update: How to Plant a Tree with Robert Edmonson

Written information from Robert Edmonson’s presentation was unavailable the night of the chapter meeting. Links for “Native Trees of the Edwards Plateau” and “How to plant a Tree” are available now.

President’s Newsletter – May

Upcoming member field trips; introducing Robert Edmonson, our May speaker; and encouragement. “Work on acreage property is never ending . . .Your time, money and energy are finite. Seek balance

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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