The Dragonflyer, March 2022, Volume 88

Blue Jay Photo by Elaine White. Click on the photo to see Elaine’s backyard bird album.

A Message from our President

In this quarter’s message, Scott shares his thoughts on this year’s programs theme, affinity groups and our 2022 priorities. Priorities include Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Youth/Community Education.

Congratulations Class of 2021

Nancy Wilson tells us that despite having a classroom experience completely online, the 2021 class had one of the highest percentages of students who certified. Students found all kinds of clever ways to get out and volunteer despite Covid limitations. 33 students found 66 ways to give almost 1800 volunteer hours to our community in support of nature! Our chapter is once again lucky to bring a group of talented, inspired volunteers into our fold. Not only is this class full of self-starters, but there are also a number of exceptional photographers. Sam will be happy to have all of these new iNatters on his team for the next City Nature Challenge.

Many thanks to the wonderful members of the New Class Committee who faithfully pitched in to make the classes of 2020 and 2021 successful: Judy Cato, Yui Iwase, Scott Hudson, Laura Kimberly, Connie Koval, Linda Manduley, Sue Matkin, David Parrish, Steven Ploch, Bruce Stewart, Susan Walters, Charlie Warnberg, Kate Whidden, and Whitney Wolf.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service Workday

The NTMN Chapter Workday, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s life and legacy, on January 17, brought together 25 Master Naturalists to be a part of a dedicated commitment to better serve the communities of North Texas. NTMN were invited by the West Dallas Community to El Campo Santo de Cemento Grande to help restore this sacred and historical space. Read all about it here.

People are Buzzing about the Insect Affinity Group

Are you into insects? Let’s dive deep into the world of invertebrates in the year 2022. Each month starting in March, we’ll have a gathering at a public park in Dallas County to look for bugs. It’ll be a lot more than just bug hunting though – let’s study the ones that we find. We’ll use some entomological collecting techniques like sweeping and beat-sheeting. We’ll learn about the taxonomy of insects, how insects colonize the planet, and ways we can manage habitat for invertebrates. There will be some reading and ‘challenges’ in between each gathering, too. Reach out to Sam Kieschnick if you want to learn more.

P.S. The City Nature Challenge is happening again this year on April 29 – May 2!  This event is all about getting the public engaged with nature. If you’re able, go outside and make some iNaturalist observations, host an event, lead some training, or promote the city nature challenge through your platforms.

Native Plants and Prairies Day Returns to White Rock Lake

Spread the word about the value of prairies by volunteering to be a part of Native Plants and Prairies Day, May 7th at the Bath House Cultural Center at White Rock Lake. Lots of volunteer positions still open, with a role for just about every talent and area of interest. This event will be a great day to meet with the public and share our love for the prairies. Learn more here.

Spring Creek Forest Preserve Fish Survey

Class of 2021 member Ashleigh Miller has written a fascinating account of the fish survey conducted in October at the Preserve. Thirteen species were collected at four sampling locations. Read all about the survey and collection process, and what lies under the surface here. The results will also be discussed at SCFP May 3rd meeting. Learn more at their website.

Community Outreach Volunteers Needed for Two April Events

We have been invited to lead walks and to have a nature discovery table at the Trinity River Audubon Center’s Community Event on April 2nd. Volunteers are needed from 8:30-2:30 PM.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to interact with the community and spend a few hours at the beautiful Trinity River Audubon Center!  If you are interested but need some training with outreach and nature trunk materials, please contact us, everyone is welcome! No experience necessary. Sign up here.

On April 3rd, we are hosting a table at Oak Cliff Earth Day. Volunteers will provide community outreach education utilizing the nature trunk materials. If you are interested in volunteering but do not have experience, we can provide you with orientation and pair you up with a veteran outreach volunteer! Sign up here.

Questions? Reach out to the team.

Member News, Essays, and Opinion

2021 Service Milestones
Congratulations to all who achieved milestones, with special recognition to Annemarie Bristow, who achieved the milestone of over 5,000 hours of service to our organization. View all the Milestone Awards here.

Congrats to Class of 2017 member Reba Collins, who was presented with a Special Recognition Award for environmental work in the community by the mayor of Garland.

Being Brown in a Green World: Member Blanca Reyna has written a thought provoking essay reflecting on the challenges People of Color face enjoying nature and outdoor related activities.

The fight against Privet: Read this in-depth article by Amy Martin about how local park managers and volunteers are beating back this invasive vegetation. You’ll recognize many of our chapter members in this two part story.

Book Reviews: Member Jane Manaster reviews two recent books on climate change and deforestation.

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