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Speakers Bureau

Group of cheery pink cone flowers.
Photo by Lisa Eigner

Thank you for your interest in finding someone who “speaks” native plants and other related topics. You’ve come to the right place! This page was developed to help you find a speaker for your organization. It is recommended that you read through our policies below before beginning your search, and that you confirm details with a speaker at least thirty (30) days prior to your event. 

The objective of this program is to educate the public about native plants and related subjects. This Speakers Bureau will help you arrange for programs upon request on topics such as those listed below. We cannot guarantee that speakers on all topics are available in every area of Texas.

As you begin your search, you’ll find our presentation offerings are arranged by major topics. Click on any topic to display a list of presentations and their speakers. Then you can link to a complete description of their program. Our volunteers speak frequently to civic groups, non-profit organizations, schools, homeowner associations and many other types of clubs and groups. Topics include Texas native plants and plant habitats and many other related subjects. 

We recommend starting your search a minimum of 90 days in advance of your event to ensure a firm commitment from your choice of speaker.

Before you contact a specific speaker, please read our policies below.

If you’re unable to find what you’re looking for, contact us at speaker@npsot.org and we’ll do our best to help.

Search by Speakers or Presentations

Policies

Honorariums

Our speakers are well versed in a variety of topics related to the native plants of Texas, and they are committed to delivering accurate, engaging information for your event. Prior to speaking to your group, they will have invested many hours in preparing an effective presentation. Please honor their commitment to quality with the offer of an honorarium.

In a state as large as Texas, speakers may have to travel quite a distance from their location to yours, even within your ecoregion. Some may request that you cover expenses incurred, such as gasoline or lodging, in addition to an honorarium of not less than $100. Not all speakers will accept an honorarium and some may ask that their honorarium be paid in the form of a donation to one of our programs such as Bring Back the Monarchs to Texas, I-35 Monarch Stations, or the NPSOT Scholarship Funds.

To donate an honorarium as requested by your speaker (ONLY), click here or send your check to: Native Plant Society of Texas, PO Box 3017, Fredericksburg, TX 78624-1929. State the program you’d like your donation designated toward, and dedicate it as an honorarium with the speaker’s name.

If an honorarium is outside the scope of your group’s budget, consider limiting your search to speakers living within 25 miles of your group’s meeting location. Please note: there are speakers who request the payment of an honorarium regardless of distance traveled.

Communication with Speakers

Once you’ve located a speaker, communicate by e-mail directly to the speaker, NOT with our State office.

We strongly recommend you confirm all details with your speaker at least thirty (30) days prior to your event.

Be clear about what equipment you have available, and confirm in advance its availability as well as version or release dates of applicable software. If this will be a virtual event, be absolutely certain in advance whether or not the speaker will allow the presentation to be recorded.

Ten to 14 days prior to your event, it is recommended you e-mail your speaker again with a reminder giving the date, topic, number of people signed up, and equipment to be provided. Confirm whether or not you will be making copies of any handouts. Repeat who will be your group’s contact and their cell phone number at the time of the scheduled event. Last minute changes in date or time may result in a speaker being unavailable.

Contact

Please send an email to the Speakers Bureau Committee.

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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