October Chapter Meeting – Lifting the Myth of the Red Tape Covering Dallas’ Urban Forest with Philip Erwin


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October Chapter Meeting – Online or In Person!

Join us via Zoom or at Dallas College Brookhaven Campus, Building H, Room 125, on Wednesday, October 6th!
Gather at 6:30 pm, Meeting at 7:00 pm.

Please participate at the level you’re comfortable. We’re excited to meet in person, but we don’t take this decision lightly. We expect all attendees to consider the health and well-being of their fellow attendees and comply with all policies.

  • MASKS are required at Dallas College in accordance with the Dallas County Risk Level Red.
  • The room will be set to allow for SOCIAL DISTANCING (4 people per table for maximum capacity of 100).
  • HAND SANITIZER will be available.
  • Food and drinks will not be provided, but you may bring your own.

Or continue to participate from home! The user experience will remain the same on Zoom. Register for the Zoom meeting here. You do not need to register for Zoom if you are attending in person.

You will be asked to fill out a COVID-19 Screening Form if you choose to attend in person. If you would like to review in advance, it can be found here. Texas Master Naturalist COVID-19 Response.

Lifting the Myth of the Red Tape Covering Dallas’ Urban Forest
Philip Erwin, Chief Arborist, City of Dallas

In our session, we will explore the history, the current status, and the future of our current regulations, the Urban Forest Master Plan, and explore how the real power lies in communicating about the public’s decisions regarding the survival of Dallas’ trees and natural resources.

About Phil

Phil Erwin has been the chief arborist in the City of Dallas since 2007.  Prior to this, he had been a district arborist with the city from October 1998.  He is a 1995 BSF graduate of Stephen F Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX and a ISA certified arborist (TX-1284-A).  He has advised citizens, city staff, and developers regarding city regulations and was the steering manager of the 2018 Article X landscape and tree conservation ordinance amendments and the Neighborhood Forest Overlay ordinance.  Current responsibilities include the escarpment area review committee (EARC), and the forestry technical team (forestry managers from several city departments).

The October 2021 Chapter meeting:

Date: Wednesday, October 6, 2021

6:30 Camera Roll
7:00 Introduction and Announcements
7:20 Featured Presentation
8:45 Adjournment

September Monthly Meeting: Talking Dirt with Lorelei Stierlen

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Talking Dirt with Lor Stierlen

This class will introduce students to the history and fundamental principles of soil science (pedology). We then dive into the detail of the soils of the Blackland Prairie in detail. There is an outdoor lab which takes approximately 30 minutes. Students will be expected to make field observations, test pH and perform texturing of the soil to determine what the soil type is.

This presentation includes a hands-on soil lab including pre-meeting homework and a soil survey. Please download the document ahead of our chapter meeting.

Gardener with soil

Lor Stierlen

About Lorelei

Retired Senior Principal Electrical Engineer, now a full-time environmental scientist (MS Johns Hopkins University, minor in pedology (soil science)). At the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center, I serve as the chair of the Blackland Prairie Ecosystem Conservation and Restoration Committee. I have been a BPTMN member since 2014. I am an officer on the boards of the Raptor Center and the Native Plant Society of Texas, Collin County Chapter. I have been teaching soil science to PSHS students and the BPTMN classes for the past four years

The September 2021 Chapter meeting:

Date: Wednesday, September 1, 2021

6:30 Camera Roll
7:00 Introduction and Announcements
7:20 Featured Presentation
8:45 Adjournment

Virtual Hike Videos

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Check out our Virtual Hike gallery where you will find engaging, high quality video shot in 4k by our incredible video production team. Check back regularly for new releases!

Sam points out the attributes of a Spittle Bug he discovered on a plant.

Sam points out the attributes of a Spittle Bug

August Chapter Meeting – Can You Restore A Creek By Doing Nothing?

We will not meet in person at Brookhaven tonight because Dallas County has moved to a “red” COVID-19 risk level (high risk of community transmission). The health and safety of our members is the highest priority, so please register to participate via zoom. We look forward to seeing you online! Register For the Zoom Meeting

Wednesday, August 4. Camera Roll at 6:30, meeting at 7 pm.

Riparian Vegetation’s Role in Stream Restoration with Kenneth Mayben, civil engineer retired from NRCS and presenter for Texas Riparian Association.

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Nueces River December 2007

Nueces River December 2007, photo by Kenneth Mayben

Can You Restore A Creek By Doing Nothing?

This presentation will explain how creeks and rivers form with the interaction of water, sediment, and riparian vegetation.  Why do streams and riparian systems evolve between Healthy and Non-Healthy conditions will be explained.  How do you restore a non-healthy stream to a healthy stream both with and without mechanical assistance?  The power of natural resilience of the streams and riparian vegetation to return a stream to a healthy condition will be covered in depth with multiple examples.


About Kenneth Mayben

Kenneth MaybenMr. Mayben is a 1975 graduate of Texas A&M University with a BS in Agricultural Engineering and is a professional engineer. He retired from the USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service after 42+ years where he served as the Zone Engineer providing engineering leadership for the Weatherford Zone, which covers 51 counties in North and Central Texas. Mr. Mayben served on the NRCS Texas Stream Team. As part of the team, he regularly taught classes across the state on the proper functioning condition of streams and riparian areas to NRCS personnel, landowners, other state and federal agency personnel, and other interested groups. He also performed stream evaluations for producers upon request. Following retirement, he started “Mayben Riparian Services” to help interested parties understand stream and riparian functions by teaching stream workshops and performing stream evaluations.


The August 2021 Chapter meeting:

Date: Wednesday, August 4, 2021

6:30 Camera Roll
7:00 Introduction and Announcements
7:20 Featured Presentation
8:45 Adjournment


Downloadable Resources:

Riparian Plants of North Central Texas with SR

Riparian Plants Central and SW Tx

PFC Texas 4 page revised with correlations 06 08 15 PFC Draft Nelle Mayben

The Dragonflyer Newsletter – June 2021, Volume 85

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Photo by Bob Mione, Monarch butterfly on American Basketflower at Connemara Meadow Nature Preserve.

A Message from our President

In this quarter’s article, Scott writes of the importance the work our Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) team is doing and how this work parallels the Be The Change program at the state level. He’s looking forward to seeing everyone in person at the Summer Social on July 7th and online at the Together We Dine event on June 10th. Read more here.

Project Spotlight: DFW Wildlife Coalition

The DFW Wildlife Coalition is an interface between a network of rehabbers and members of the public who want to help orphaned and injured wildlife. We need your support and volunteer hours. Once trained, volunteers staff the hotline and respond to emails/texts – all from home or wherever you have connectivity.  We especially need people to answer emails to the website and respond to voicemails. Read more about this important mission and how you can help here.

Volunteers Needed at the Herbarium

The Dallas County Herbarium at Texas Discovery Gardens, founded by NTMN members in 2012, houses plants collected exclusively in Dallas County. They are currently seeking volunteers to collect, identify, dry, press and mount new specimens. No prior experience is required. On the job training provided! Learn more about this opportunity here.

Quarterly Volunteer Awards

Congratulations to our Quarterly Award recipients for Q1 and Q2 of 2021, Bob Richie and Ginger Greatens.

Bob, class of 2012, won the First Quarter Award and has been involved in many efforts within the Chapter from Big Chapter Projects to Native Plants and Prairies Days to Winter Tree Identification classes. With an engaging personality and a relaxed teaching style, Bob exemplifies what it means to be a Texas Master Naturalist. Read more about Bob here.

Ginger, class of 2017, who won the Second Quarter Award, currently serves as Community Education Chair and leads the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She’s been instrumental in organizing, planning and executing Big Chapter Projects at Lakewood Outdoor Learning Area and Harry Moss Park, among others. She is a dedicated master naturalist who genuinely cares about the master naturalist mission, outreach, and making the program more accessible and relatable to the greater DFW community. Read all about Ginger and her accomplishments here.

Thoughts on Diversity and Inclusion

NTMN D&I Committee Member Blanca Reyna reminds us that we all have the capacity to learn and grow. Venturing into the unknown is sometimes a formidable challenge, but questions, thoughtfulness, and curiosity will lead to discovery and understanding. Read Blanca’s essay here.

Member News and Opinion

Congrats to Tiffany Lipsett PhD: One of NTMN’s own was recently named Executive Director of the Native Plant Society of Texas. Read about it here.
Remembering What’s Important: NTMN class of 2007 member Jim Folger has been thinking a lot during the pandemic about why he volunteers and has some ideas on how retain our members and reduce our turnover. Read more about his thoughts on the subject here.
Listening to Birdsong: Jane Manaster writes about the captivating antics and song of our native backyard birds here.
Welcome Wildlife with Native Plants: Elizabeth Wilkinson offers some great advice and interesting information on why native plants are so important to our wildlife. Read her story here.
Wow, That’s a Big Tree: Read about John Wilt’s chance encounter with the biggest recorded Post Oak in Dallas County.
So Much Dedication: Whitney Wolf has reached the incredible milestone of 4,000 volunteer hours. What an achievement!

Membership Survey Results

Around 60% of our members responded to the survey sent out earlier this year. Read the findings and potential implications here.

2020 Volunteer Projects Annual Report

2020 was a unique year as many of our activities were curtailed or cancelled due to the pandemic. But even with that large obstacle in our way, we volunteered close to 24,000 hours across 59 unique projects in 2020… an astounding result in a very difficult year!  If you’d like to see the activities and hours recorded, each project is detailed here (member sign in required). For 2020, we’ve included activities for both 2019 and 2020, to show members a “normal” year to compare to. Many thanks to our Project Leads for their organization and guidance, and a big THANK YOU to all our members, who made 2020 a very successful year!

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