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The Community News • P.O. Box 1031 • 203 Pecan Dr. • Aledo, TX 76008 • 817-441-7661 • FAX: 817-441-5419


Prairie Ecology Program

May 1, 2012 by Anonymous

Event Date: 
Thu, 05/10/2012 - 7:00pm

Prairie Ecology Program
The Cross Timbers Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT) will host Jim Varnum, who will present a program about prairie ecology, maintenance, and restoration at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 10 at the Harberger Hill Community Center, 701 Narrow Street in Weatherford. The public is invited to attend. Refreshments will be served before the meeting. For more information, call Eileen Porter 817-596-5567.

Varnum is a self-taught student of nature where his interests range from birds to plants to prairies to land preservation. He spends much time searching for native plants out-and-about in the DFW Metroplex and beyond. Jim has been a Texas Master Naturalist since 1999. He teaches, gives programs and leads trail walks on birds, trees, wildflowers, prairies and land preservation. His current interests include chalk prairies, Hexalectris and Spiranthes orchids and Trout lilies. His repertoire is chock full of interesting nature trivia and a few bad nature jokes. When Jim is asked about his philosophy and interest on the natural world, he quotes author Ellen Parr: "The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity."

During his presentation, Varnum will discuss the geology, flora and fauna of the various ecosystems that make up the North Central Texas Prairies region. Although not local to Parker County, Jim will present gilgais, interesting naturally-formed land depressions, often called buffalo wallows. He will discuss the management and restoration efforts needed to maintain a prairie.

Texas once was three fourths prairie and savanna. Now less than one percent of the original 20 million acres of Texas native tall grass prairies remain due to suburban sprawl, plowing, and overgrazing during the past 150 years. Our water quality and native plant communities, native pollinators, grassland birds and other wildlife depend on the protection of existing tall grass prairie remnants, restoration of tall grass prairie, education and advocacy for tall grass prairie conservation and restoration, and prairie landowner outreach and assistance.

According to the authors of the Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas, “the current generation may be the last with the opportunity to preserve even small remnants of the once extensive natural ecosystems” and “unless action is taken by those living today, the opportunity to provide future generations with a chance to experience natural areas” will be lost. The diverse set of native plants including native prairie flowers that once dominated the Texas tall grass prairies are now rare. These native plant communities include Little Bluestem, Big Bluestem, Eastern Gamagrass, and Yellow Indian Grass and are ranked with a Global Conservation Status of G1 – Critically Imperiled to G2 – Imperiled, which are the most threatened conservation rankings. The fate of our prairies is in our hands and we must protect, maintain, and restore our prairies.

The Cross Timbers Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas meets the second Thursday of the month, except July and December, at Harberger Hill Community Center, 701 Narrow Street in Weatherford. The Chapter Business meeting is at 6:30 pm followed by a social at 6:45 pm with the presentation starting at 7:00 pm. Our mission is to promote the conservation, research, and utilization of native plants and plant habitats in Texas through education, outreach, and example. The public is welcome.

Sports Calendar

Thursday, February 26

  • Aledo Ladycats Varsity at Brewer Tournament, Time TBA

  • Aledo Bearcats Varsity at Jerry Durant Classic at Aledo, Time TBA.
    Aledo Bearcats JV at Burleson Tournament, Time TBA.
    Aledo Bearcats Freshmen at Grand Prairie Tournamnet, Time TBA.

Friday, February 27

  • Aledo Varsity at Burleson High Tournament, all day

  • Aledo Ladycats and Bearcats Varsity Black at Regional Preview at Rawls Golf Course, Lubbock.

  • Aledo JV vs. Everman at Bearcat Stadium, Bearcats 5:30 pm and Ladycats 7:00 pm. *District Game

  • Aledo Varsity at Everman, Ladycats 5:30 pm and Bearcats 7:00 pm. *District Game

Tuesday, March 3

  • Aledo Ladycats and Bearcats JV at Waxahachie JV Tournament at Waxahachie Country Club.

  • Aledo Bearcats at Crowley, JV 5:30 pm and Varsity 7:00 pm. *District Game

  • Aledo Ladycats vs. Crowley at Bearcat Stadium, JV 5:30 pm and Varsity 7:00 pm. *District Game

  • Aledo Ladycats vs. Joshua at AHS Softball Field, JV 5:30 pm and Varsity 7:00 pm. *District Game

Wednesday, March 4

  • Aledo Ladycats Varsity Orange at Glen Rose Invitational at Squaw Valley Golf Course Links Course.

Thursday, March 5

  • Aledo Ladycats JV at Brewer Tournament, Time TBA

  • Aledo Ladycats Varsity at A&M Consolidated Tournament, College Station, Time TBA

  • Aledo Bearcats Varsity at Southwest and Arlington Heights Tournament, Times TBA.
    Aledo Bearcats JV at Granbury Tournament, Times TBA.
    Aledo Bearcats Freshmen at Weatherford Tournament, Times TBA.

  • Aledo Ladycats and Bearcats at Boswell
    Aledo Middle School at Stephenville

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