Rich Jaynes’ academic training includes a B.S. in Range Science (Botany minor) from BYU and a M.S. in Watershed Science from Utah State University. He has worked as a range technician for the U.S. Forest Service, consulting hydrologist, manager of a cartographic lab, and has taught college courses in rangeland field surveys and plant biology. After taking a 20-year detour to serve in the U.S. Army, he has worked the past 12 years as an environmental scientist for the engineering and architectural firm Halff Associates. His professional work has included preparing natural resources analyses in master plans for nature preserves such as Southwest Nature Preserve in Arlington and JF. Burke Nature Preserve in Farmers Branch. He also worked for the Native Prairies Association of Texas in surveying Ellis County for native prairie remnants.
He has been volunteering as a Texas Master Naturalist since 2008, and enjoys leading groups in exploring the wonders of plant life in local landscapes, and in engaging in prairie restoration efforts in the DFW area.
The Frankford Prairie: The ‘Miracle’ Prairie. This will be a tour of a wonderful native prairie that was discovered a few years ago when a century-plus historic church and was undergoing renovation. The prairie forms a third facet of this site with a historic cemetery and chapel that were part of the Frankford settlement in the mid-late 1800s. After suspicions were raised that a 2.5-acre area on the cemetery property may harbor remnant prairie species, annual mowing of the area (that at the time looked like a soccer field) stopped to see what would happen. The miracle was the explosion of wildflowers and tall grasses that spontaneously appeared the next growing seasons, beginning with a blanket of the lavender wild hyacinths. This small remnant has at least 200 species, many of which are indicators of pristine Blackland Prairie, and which are difficult to establish. Since its discovery, the prairie has been left alone to develop, with the exception of battling the most pernicious invasives that keep trying to move in.