Congrats to Class of 2021!

by Nancy Wilson, class of 2018

Congratulations Class of 2021! All 35 students have completed their classwork, participated in Class Projects, and are raring to go. Please welcome the newest North Texas Master Naturalists!

If you had a chance to visit the displays at the fabulous Summer Social, you had a glimpse of the work done.

Many thanks to David Parrish who once again did a terrific job finding projects for the class to work on and helping each group achieve their goals. The Project Liaisons who worked with each group served to help the groups clarify goals and cheered them on. Our deepest gratitude to all! Post Oak Preserve: Heidi Meausoone, Chrissy Cortez-Mathis, Sean Cortez-Mathis and Haley Spencer; Kiest Park: Jon Papp, Rob Kaaa, Miah Oren and Cassey Llamas; Nature Discovery Trunks: Ginger Greatens and Elaine White.

Post Oak Preserve Interpretive Trail Guide:  The Post Oak Preserve contains one of the last large stands of Post Oak Savannah in southeast Dallas County. The students working on this project researched and produced a digital and downloadable trail guide, along with updated trail markers using QR codes, to give the public – especially visiting teachers and students – the tools they need to understand various locations along the trails and interpret the ecological areas of the Post Oak Preserve.

Jasmine Flores shared this summary of the Project: “It took a lot of team work to divide the responsibilities and to figure out how to work with DISD and the City of Dallas. The group met via Zoom and on site in person to collect data and work on creating QR codes for the digital trail guide. There is still a little red tape to overcome to install the markers for hikers to access our digital trail guide, but work at Post Oak will continue.”

Thanks to Susan Roberts and Jasmine who provided some of the information they put together:
The history of Post Oak Preserve
What is a Post Oak Savannah
Post Oak is a Wetland
Post Oak Poster created by the team

Nature Discovery Trunks Education Videos/Power Point Presentation:  One of the leaders on this Project, Jeff Sargent, filled us in on the work done:

“Our Trunk Project Team was assigned to produce two videos and PowerPoint slideshow presentations to offer Master Naturalists guidance on how to access, set up and communicate the contents of these valuable educational resources. Seven class members (Tony, Erika, Sue, Rachael, Afton, Jeff, and Betsy) split into two groups of three to each produce a video and slideshow, with Tony as the team videographer. We chose to feature the Mammal and Wetlands trunks. Project members first made site visits to the trunk storage unit with their “Trunk Wrangler” to review the contents and take photos. The slideshows were outlined and completed first, while the videos were scripted later and shot, edited and finished with Tony in about a week. It was both an independent and collaborative team effort. We learned a lot about the trunks and how to best use them and were pleased with our project results! We hope other Master Naturalists will find them helpful.”

Check out the Nature Discovery Trunk info on the NTMN Members page:
Wetlands Discovery Trunk
Video about using the Wetlands Trunks (courtesy of 2021 class members). Click here for most recent link.
Power Point presentation about using the Wetlands Trunks. Click here to download.

Mammal Discovery Trunk
Video about using the Mammal Trunks (courtesy of 2021 class members). Click here for the most recent link.

Kiest Park Preserve Prairie:  Jon Papp did a great job inspiring the Kiest group to assist in the further restoration of the Conservation Area at Kiest Park.

Per one of the Project leaders, Kim Sanders George, this group exceeded their Project goals on every count. Kim prepared the following summary:

  • Working with Brett Johnson, a team of dedicated “privet warriors” exceeded their goal by holding three invasive species removal workdays.
  • Working with Dallas Forester Karen Woodard, the group identified 20 key tree species, then identified, counted, and categorized some 890 trees across the Entrance Trail, Bridle Trail, and Meadow Loop.
  • Tree ID Brochure –the 2021 students identified and tagged key tree species specimens to include in the online brochure along the three trails; created a map of the tagged species on the trails; populated the trees, photos and park details in the online brochure; ordered signs for the key species with QR codes linked to the online brochure; and worked with FOCP’s volunteers to “plant” the cemented, potted signs correlating to the tagged key species.

The final signs were “planted” just before the Summer Social with the help of the Wednesday Latter Day Saints volunteers and Friends of Oak Cliff Parks (FOCP) –isn’t it great to blend North Texas Master Naturalists with other community volunteers?!

This new class brings a wealth of talent and a broad range of interests and backgrounds. We are excited to welcome each student to our Naturalist family!

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