Dragonflyer Volume 79 – Nov. 2019

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November 2019, Volume 79

A Message from our President

Bruce Stewart, NTMN President, brings us up to date on this year’s main initiatives: the 2019 Annual Conference, the Urban Wildlife Conference, and the NTMN move. Read all about it and be sure to RSVP before December 4th for the Annual Awards Dinner being held on December 11th. View Bruce’s note here.

Open House for Prospective Master Naturalists

On October 22nd, 36 intrepid people braved the tornado debris scattered about the area to learn about the upcoming NTMN spring class. So far, we’ve had 51 applicants for the class. The application deadline is November 30th so there’s still time for your friends and family to apply! Read more about it here.

Volunteer Project: Groundwork Dallas

The mission of Groundwork Dallas is to regenerate, sustain and improve the Dallas Elm Fork Green Belt and the Great Trinity Forest. Their earliest successes include removing 5,000 tires from the Great Trinity Forest in 2010 and removing 130,000 pounds of trash from the Elm Fork and Great Trinity Forest in 2017 and 2018! New Class Representative Aaryaman Singhal shares more information on Groundwork Dallas’s mission and how to help in his article here.

Volunteer Project: Monarch Butterfly Tagging

Who doesn’t love the fall days when bright orange butterflies are abundant in the skies and in our gardens? Butterfly lovers are seen jumping about with nets in order to catch, tag, and release the Monarchs, hoping their tagged butterflies will make it to their winter homes in Mexico. Learn about the tagging process and how these insects are tracked in Ellen Guiling’s article here. One of her butterflies traveled from Raincatcher’s Garden in Dallas all the way to Michoacan, Mexico. A journey of over 1100 miles!

photo credit: Katja Schultz

Volunteer Project: Big Chapter Project

In the wake of the devastating tornado, thirty two Master Naturalists convened at the Benny J. Simpson EcoPark at Texas A&M Agrilife Extension to remove invasive species, mulch trails, and create a drainage area. Danielle LoPresti tells us more about the events of the day here.

Harvestmen “Spiders” – Daddy Longlegs

Did you know that these creatures are not actually spiders? Nor do they create silken webs? Learn some fascinating facts about Harvestmen, also known as Daddy Longlegs in the article here written by Erika Choffel.

photo credit: Lisa Feldkamp, nature.org

Help Wanted: Seeking Leader for Southern Dallas Programming

Members of our chapter have put in a great deal of work to extend Naturalist education to Southern Dallas County. A leader is sought to continue this effort by programming additional Advanced Training opportunities in tandem with NTMN projects at places like Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center, Trinity River Audubon Center, Cedar Ridge Preserve. Could this be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for? Learn more about it here.


New Board Members Elected
Congratulations to our newest Board Members!

  • President: Scott Hudson
  • Co-Treasurer: Alan Lusk
  • Volunteer Services/Advanced Training Director: Russ Olivier
  • Communications Director: Carol Garrison
  • Community Education Director: Ginger Greatens
  • State Representative: Steve Wilson

Volunteer of the Quarter: Charlie Tobin
Congratulations are in order for Charlie, who has earned the Quarterly Volunteer Award. Read more about Charlie and his work at Dogwood Canyon Audubon Center, Cedar Ridge Preserve, Connemara Meadow and Brookhaven College Gardens.

Green Source DFW Awards
NTMN was well represented at this year’s award ceremony. We packed three tables and had several members and supporters nominated for awards at this terrific event!

Members Receiving Awards
Reba Collins recognized for Exemplary Sustainability Leadership
Ben Sandifer awarded 2019 Citizen Scientist of the Year by Texas Stream Team
Laura Kimberly earns her Bugs 101 Certificate
Marie-Theres Herz receives Shirley D. Lusk Award from NPSOT

Member Spotlight: Sara Beckelman
Learn more about why Sara decided to join our chapter and all the things she’s done in her 20 years as a NTMN! We are so sad that Sara is leaving our chapter, but know she will do great things at her new home in Missouri.

Join us on Social Media! Be sure to follow us on your favorite app.

And you know we have a private Facebook Group just for our members? Check it out!

The Media Room

Take a look at these photo albums submitted by NTMN photo committee and project leaders:
TMN Conference Awards Dinner
Big Chapter Project
Green Source DFW Awards

And visit our Flickr account to see albums from other big events, especially the TMN Conference field trips!

General NTMN Information

Monthly meetings are usually held on the first Wednesday of each month starting at 6:30 pm and are always open to the public. Check ntmn.org for speaker announcements and location.

Officer and Committee Listing
Event Calendar

Our Mission

To develop a corps of well-informed volunteers to provide education, outreach and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural wild areas within their communities within the state of Texas.

November meeting: Invasion of the Emerald Ash Borer

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Wednesday, Nov. 6

Social time starts at 6:30 pm. Meeting at 7 pm. Speaker begins at approximately 7:30 pm.  

Emerald ash borer (EAB) decimated many thousands of ash trees, killing virtually all species of ash trees in the genus Fraxinus. Five major species of ash trees in the U.S. are on the brink of extinction due to EAB. First discovered in Michigan in 2002, it has since made its way across much of the Midwest. Texas sightings occurred in three counties adjacent to Louisiana and Arkansas in 2016. In 2018, Texas Parks & Wildlife biologist Sam Kieschnick recognized an EAB in an iNaturalist posting by a young man in Tarrant County. Though Dallas is amidst these sightings, EAB has not been confirmed in the county, though it seems just a matter of time — a serious situation since more than 40% of the Great Trinity Forest consists of ash trees.

Dr. Mike Merchant, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service urban entomologist based in Dallas, will discuss the possible ecological impacts of EAB devastation in North Texas and hopes for control. He will educate how to identify the EAB and its damage patterns in trees, and relay how Texas Master Naturalists can help mitigate this potential arboreal crisis.

According to Texas A&M Extension, “Adult beetles feed on ash leaves and deposit eggs on the bark of their ash hosts. The eggs hatch and the tiny larvae penetrate the bark to feed on water-conducting tissues inside the tree. Within 2-3 years the tree loses the ability to conduct sap and succumbs to the infestation. Within ten years of initial invasion all untreated ash trees in an invaded area perish. When it comes to ecological destruction, the EAB is practically without peer among exotic insect pests.”

More information:

Dr. Merchant designs informational materials and training programs to help reduce pesticide use and promote the use of low impact pesticides for schools and other institutional facilities. He develops training materials and continuing education programs on pests and integrated pest management for the public. His research interests include control of fire ants in electrical equipment and urban landscapes; low impact pesticides; spider management; documentation of Formosan Termite range expansion in Texas; and improvement of existing termite control technologies.

Oct. 2 meeting — Nature Journaling with Meghan Peoples

Capture your experience with nature through the pages of your own field journal. The process of translating, naming, and depicting our observations connects us to the world on a deeper level. Join horticulturist Meghan Peoples in this interactive course as she guides you in the basics of nature journaling. Bring life to your observations with color, art, design, and more. Discover a whole new perspective on the natural world around you

Date: Wednesday, October 2, 2019

  • 6:30 Meet and Eat
  • 7:00 Introduction and Announcements
  • 7:20 Featured Presentation
  • 8:45 Adjournment

About the speaker:

Horticulturist Meghan Peoples is Program Coordinator at Texas A&M AgriLife Research in Dallas. Prior to that, she was employed at Texas Discovery Gardens. She has a bachelor degree in Horticultural Science from Texas A&M University. Meghan is active in the East Dallas chapter of Native Plant Society of Texas.

Location for October:

Twelve Hills Nature Center Brochure

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THNC_BROCHURE LR 9-8-19 – 090819