Become a Master Naturalist in 2020

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BECOME A MASTER NATURALIST:  The North Texas Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist program will be accepting applications for its 2020 class beginning on October 1. Master Naturalist Trainees receive in-depth education in wildlife and natural resource management, customized to focus on our local ecosystems. In return, Master Naturalists provide volunteer service in the form of community education, conservation, citizen science, and demonstration projects, while pursuing advanced training in areas of their special interests. The initial training includes 40 hours of classroom sessions plus field trips to learn about Texas’ natural resources.

Training begins February 4, 2020 and continues each Tuesday from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. through April 28, 2020. Most classes will meet at Brookhaven Community College, 3939 Valley View Lane, Dallas, 75244. An Open House will be held on Tuesday, October 22, 2019, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 17360 Coit Rd, Dallas, TX 75252. Please join us to gather more information on the training and our volunteer program.

Applications can be obtained at and will be accepted from October 1, 2019 through November 30, 2019. Class size is limited. Priority is given to applicants with a strong interest in performing volunteer service. More information about our chapter and our volunteer projects can be found on this website. The Texas Master Naturalist program is sponsored by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

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

Dragonflyer # 78 Late Summer 2019

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A Message from our President

Bruce Stewart, NTMN President, shares the latest on the 2019 Annual Conference being held in Rockwall October 18-20. Lots of volunteer opportunities are available at the conference, especially for the auction. Catch up on the conference and read more about the move from the Marsh Lane offices to the new Dallas County building in October. Read Bruce’s article here.

Urban Wildlife Conference Garners Rave Reviews

On August 15th, over 100 people participated in the Urban Wildlife Conference. Presentations focused on land management that is good for both people and wildlife. The attendees enjoyed the presentations, proclaiming them both actionable and engaging. Read more here.

Frankford Prairie – A Hidden Jewel in North Dallas

In January 2019, the North Texas Chapter adopted Frankford Prairie as an approved project in collaboration with the Blackland Prairie Chapter and leader Rich Jaynes. Each workday Rich shares his extraordinary and abundant knowledge on prairie ecology with volunteers eager to learn more about plant identification. Read more about the Little Prairie that Could and how you can volunteer here.

Orchid Survey Success!

It’s been a banner year for Texas orchids. During the Orchid Survey at Cedar Ridge Preserve, 1032 individual orchids from four species were counted. Read all about it here. Photo below is Hexalectris spicata taken by Adam Cochran.

Harry S. Moss Park Restoration Project

Moss Park was overwhelmed by acres of woody, invasive plants. Thanks to the work of our chapter and a grant secured by Texas Discovery Gardens, the wildscape is being restored. Pollinator plants and native milkweedswere planted to establish a thriving Monarch butterfly habitat. Read all about it here.


Board Member Nominations – Your Chapter Needs You!
Consider serving on the board. For the 2020-2021 term, we will be electing nominees for the following positions:

  • President
  • Co-Treasurer
  • Volunteer Services/Advanced Training Director
  • Communications Director
  • Community Education Director

Elections are held at the November meeting, so get your nominations in now.

Volunteer of the Quarter awarded to Lee Kelton
Congratulations to Lee who has earned the Quarterly Volunteer Award. Read more about Lee and why he is such a great asset to our chapter.

Member Milestones
Check out who has achieved 250 and 2500+ volunteer hours milestones during the first half of 2019, and the other terrific milestones in between!

Company-matched Donations
Does your employer match donations like Stalin SM’s and Henry Ashner’s? Check with your HR department about matching gifts.

Member Spotlight: Q&A with Nancy Wilson, New Class Co-Director
Learn more about Nancy and what she loves about NTMN.

The Media Room

Take a look at these photo albums submitted by NTMN photo committee and project leaders:
Urban Wildlife Conference
Orchid Survey
Summer Social

And visit our Flickr photostream to see albums from other big events!

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 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.