February Chapter Meeting – Survivor Plants in Urban Areas

Speaker Ricky Linex

Survivor Plants in Urban Areas, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Wednesday, February 3 at 7 pm

Ricky Linex, Retired Wildlife Biologist, Natural Resources Conservation Service

NTMN Survivor 2021

Zoom Link Coming Soon

This presentation will look at plants that have survived, thrived and adapted to now living in a North Texas urbanized area.  Much of the metroplex was  grazed by early settlers prior to being converted to farmland beginning in the late 1800’s.  As the population grew the farms and ranches were mostly pushed out and replaced with asphalt and concrete surrounding homes and businesses.  Plan to attend to learn how plant diversity, both native and introduced, has changed over the past 200 years.  What makes a plant a survivor?  Over time man has created great changes in the flora of the region.  We will discuss historical plant communities and how they have changed, and what it would take to slow and reverse the present trend.

Riparian Zone

The West Fork of the Trinity River in Jack county with good riparian vegetation still present, thanks to good grazing management over a long period of time.


Ricky Linex is a wildlife biologist having recently retired from the Natural Resources Conservation Service where he worked 38.5 years. Over the previous 18 years, Ricky served 52 counties in north-central Texas and authored Range Plants of North Central Texas A Land User’s Guide to Their Identification Value and Management. His assistance to landowners and managers involved mutual education on how to better manage rangelands for sustainable use by livestock and wildlife. Knowing the plants and how to manage them is critical for success as a land steward.

For a master naturalist tribute to Ricky upon his retirement, read here.


Zoom link will be available about a week prior to meeting. You will need to sign in with both first and last names for your AT to be counted.

Announcements begin at 7 pm. Speaker begins at approximately 7:30 pm.

If you’re not familiar with Zoom, arrive 6:45 pm to set your audio levels and learn the system.

Cameral Roll slideshow to start at 6:30.

Approved for 1 hour AT. Report to AT: NTX Chapter Meeting (put February meeting and speaker name in comments).

NTMN Survivor 2021

In Memoriam: Marie-Theres Herz, NTMN Class of 2010 – by Cindy Kearney and Alan R. Lusk

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In Memoriam: Marie-Theres Herz, NTMN Class of 2010 – by Cindy Kearney and Alan R. Lusk

The following obituary appeared in the Newsletter of the Dallas Chapter of the Native Plant Society. We have shared it with their permission.

Marie-Theres Herz at the 2019 NPSOT Fall Symposium in League City, TX with her herbarium voucher display. (Photo by Alan Lusk)

We are saddened to announce we’ve lost another valuable Dallas member. On Saturday, January 2nd, Marie-Theres Herz passed peacefully in her sleep. With great poise and personal strength, she notified our NLCP crew in the summer of 2018 she was diagnosed with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also called Lou Gehrig’s disease. With great determination and success she focused on her one of her great joys and wonderful legacy – her collection of herbarium vouchers for the North Texas NLCP classes and the NTMN Dallas County Herbarium project. It was with great honor that we nominated her for the first NPSOT Shirley D. Lusk Memorial Award, an award which honors a citizen scientist for collecting and preserving Texas native plants for public education by providing outstanding contribution of herbarium vouchers. At the 2019 NPSOT fall symposium, with her family in attendance, Shirley’s son, Alan Lusk, presented her this inaugural award. Alan said, “Marie-Theres has stepped in where my mother left off mentoring me and teaching me more about the flora of Dallas County and collecting Herbarium specimens.”

L-R, Kristen Pearson, Niculin Herz, Joachim & Marie-Theres Herz and Alan Lusk (Photo by Catherine Lusk)

Marie-Theres served as our chapter’s Vice President and Program Chair from 2013-2014.  She then focused on continuing her volunteering with the NLCP committee and missed only one of the first 30 classes, assisted in the selection of plants for the North Texas program, provided most of the live samples, organized several of the training classes, taught several classes, and scouted and led the plant walks. Janet D. Smith said, “As administrator of the Dallas NLCP classes, I do a psychological sigh of relief whenever Marie-Theres is with us. When we take the herbarium vouchers out of the binder and put them on display, the wall gets elevated into an art gallery.”

Marie-Theres Herz with her ‘art gallery’ in an NLCP class. (Photo by Karen Almond)

Marie-Theres describing the characteristics of Blackjack Oak with her voucher during an NLCP class.  (Photo by Cindy Kearney)

In addition to the vouchers being used for NLCP classes, she was a driving force behind the Dallas County Herbarium. The Dallas County Herbarium was established in 2012 by Jim Varnum and the North Texas Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists. As the mainstay collector for the herbarium, Marie-Theres personally collected and pressed over 800 specimens that are now a part of the Dallas County Herbarium Permanent Collection (312 vouchers), Educational vouchers (268 vouchers) and donation to BRIT (197 vouchers.) She spent countless hours in the field looking for specimens to collect in every corner of Dallas County.

Plant Collecting at Crawford Park in Dallas 4/23/2019; L-R, Dana Wilson, John Wilt, Carolyn Rozier and Marie-Theres Herz (Photo by Alan Lusk)

Marie-Theres was a self-taught botanist who mastered a vast amount of botanical knowledge. She could identify hundreds of plants by memory and was adept at using botanical keys to accurately identify new specimens. She was quick to help verify identification of specimens collected by others. Marie-Theres was a born educator who loved to share her knowledge of native plants with others. She helped teach herbarium volunteers to collect, press and mount plant specimens. She collected additional specimens used in outreach activities of the North Texas Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists. She organized and led identifying and collecting walks for other Master Naturalists and the general public, adults and children. She created and presented a program for children to make cards using pressed plants and flowers. Collecting, pressing, and teaching were not her only talents, Marie-Theres, also designed and maintained several of her friend’s residential landscapes and didn’t hesitate to give fellow native plant enthusiasts tours of her gardens and shared plants and seeds from those gardens. These gardens allowed her to be a prolific provider of plants for our chapter’s fundraising plant sales. We also give her credit with designing our chapter logo.

Portion of Marie-Theres’ personal garden  (Photo by Cindy Kearney)

Carolyn Rozier, North Texas Master Naturalist Herbarium Project Lead, said, “Marie-Theres’ contribution to the botany community, and the Dallas County community in general, has been huge, and her efforts over many years have been an exceptional contribution to our knowledge and understanding of our native plants.”

Trout Lily hike at Spring Creek Forest Preserve 2/15/2020; L-R, Annette Südhof, Astrid Rohlmann, Marie-Theres Herz, Dana Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Catherine Lusk and Alan Lusk (Photo courtesy of Alan Lusk)

Marie-Theres Herz grew up in Switzerland and received her Master of Biology degree from the ETH Zurich in 1977 and her PhD in 1982 from the Univ. of Lausanne. She then conducted postdoctoral research in Cell Biology at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg (the European equivalent of the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories) where she met Joachim Herz. Marie-Theres and Joachim were married, and their son was born in 1988. They moved to Dallas in February 1989 when Joachim began work at UT Southwestern Medical Center. After their son graduated from high school, Marie-Theres completed an Associate’s Degree in a Landscape Architecture at Brookhaven Community College where she was introduced to Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT). She then pursued her interest in native plants with the same zeal, dedication, and precision that she dedicated to her scientific career, to raising her son, and to every other pursuit and joined NPSOT in Sept. 2009 and became a Certified Master Naturalist in 2010 with North Texas Chapter.

L-R, Nancy Nance, Alan Lusk, Janet D. Smith, Marie-Theres, Cindy Kearney, and Susannah Moore at the 2019 Texas Discovery Gardens’ Native Plant Symposium  (Photo courtesy of Cindy Kearney)

NPSOT members at the Nov. 2014 pot-luck. Back row: Carol Feldman, Dan, Peter Schaar, Marie-Theres, ?, Randy Johnson; middle row: Gail Kahle, Sara Beckelman, Betty Priesing, Janet D. Smith, Lee Dixon, Julie Ryan, ?; front row: Carol Cook, Cindy Kearney, Mary Harris, Susan Jones

An outdoor park or wildscape memorial is planned…

Marie- Theres with Joachim at the 2018 Prairie Field Trip at Clymer Meadows. Photo by Alan Lusk

Dragonflyer – December 2020, Volume 83

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Photo by Daniel Koglin, lake in William Blair, Jr Park near the Texas Buckeye Trail Head.

A Message from our President

What a year it has been! We have so many things to celebrate including the resilience of the 2020 class, our new board members, an improved focus on diversity and inclusion, and over 19,000 volunteer hours already recorded! Being a Master Naturalist matters! Read Scott Hudson’s detailed 2020 recap here.

IMPORTANT: Read the latest on the TMN Covid restrictions here.  The new directives prohibit face-to-face activities, service, meetings, and events until further notice and applies to both indoor and outdoor activities.

December Chapter Meeting next Wednesday, December 9th

On Wednesday, December 9th at 7, Michelle M. Haggerty and Mary Pearl Meuth will join us to discuss Why Being a Master Naturalist Matters. We’ll also hear about what’s in the works for our 2021 annual conference in Arlington. This is a members-only meeting. Learn more here.

Diversity and Inclusion

In January 2020, NTMN formed a Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Task Force to address some critical questions. Read more about their important work and how you can help here.

Youth and Community Outreach

Learn about all the opportunities Tiffany, our new Youth Education Director, has in store for 2021! From Adventure Days to Social Media Story Times, a broad range of activities are available to help us connect with the community and the next generation of Master Naturalists! Check it out here.

White Rock Prairie Restoration Wins Award

Faced with challenging obstacles, this 2020 Class Project Team was able to coordinate a biological survey, plan and execute socially distanced workdays, and develop a three year plan for restoring a 13 acre site.

Taking advantage of diverse skills, and with ample energy and enthusiasm, the team put together a winning presentation for the Annual Conference. Read more about it and how you can help with future workdays here.

Dues Reminder

We have transitioned to an online payment system for dues. You should have received an email with the subject Pledge on November 5th. If you missed the email reach out to the NTMN Treasurer here.

2020 Annual Meeting Recap, including Awards

We have many dedicated and talented chapter members who were recognized during the Annual Meeting. See more about them, and learn about the amazing breadth and depth of presentations available during the conference here.

Third Place in the Wildlife Photo competition went to Roger Sanderson’s photo of an alligator and a ribbon snake below. You can see all the photography awards here.

Volunteer Hours and Advanced Training

Do you still need to get your hours in? Not to worry! Our calendar provides lots of opportunities to get your AT and VH! Check it out here. A few highlights:

  • Weekly workdays continue throughout December at places like Texas Discovery Gardens, LLELA and Twelve Hills. Check out the calendar for full details.
  • Tree Planting with Citizen Foresters is happening 12/4, and the Audubon Christmas Bird Count will take place 12/26 at Coppell Nature Center.

Reach out to Russ Olivier if you help or have questions! Deadline to record your 2020 hours is January 15th.

Meeting Speakers for 2021

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NTMN meetings are held on the first Wednesday of the month. Meetings are open to the public. There is no charge to attend. Summer social and award dinner are for NTMN members and their guests only. NTMN members earn 1 hour AT for attendance at meetings with speakers; report time to NTX: Chapter Meeting.

  • Social time starts at 6:30 pm.
  • Meeting and announcements begin at 7 pm.
  • Speaker begins at approximately 7:30 pm.

Wednesday, 1/6/2021

Rachel Richter, Urban Wildlife Biologist, Texas Parks & Wildlife

Dynamics of Urban Ecosystems

Rachel RichterRegister Online

Wednesday, 2/3/2021

Ricky Linex,

Survivors! Plants, Animals and Natural Resources

Registration Coming Soon