Since the first year of the Blackland Prairie Chapter our tribe members have taken on responsibilities with other groups or have served as advisors and teachers. If you have or are serving as a board member for another organization, if you have served on the chapter board – elected or appointed, if you have been an advisor or presenter for an organization, school or other chapter, if you have taken turns at the Outreach booth, let us know. If you know of someone in the chapter who has done so, pass on the good news for Shaking the Trees. Our philosophy is like a three-legged stool: Education, Restoration, Preservation. Let the education leg be known. List name, class year, and the recipients of service. (i.e. Outreach booth at Collin County Garden Show or Advisor at Plano Senior High for landscaping class) I know several work with school classes and groups. Several serve on boards. Several travel the state/other states sharing the life learnings of a master naturalist. So, what ‘cha doin’?
September 6–12, 2020
The first DFW Fall Socially Distant BioBlitz was a huge success! During these seven days, over 1100 people participated in the greater DFW 11-county area. Many of these people were Master Naturalists, but many more were not. Between all of us, we made over 35,000 observations, of over 2700 species. What a great way to kick the end-of-summer doldrums!
The competition between Master Naturalist chapters was friendly, but enthusiastic. Elm Fork’s service area had the most observations, with over 10,000, but Cross Timbers Chapter and our own Blackland Prairie Chapter were not far behind, with over 8000 observations each. (Note that Elm Fork had THREE counties, while we only had two. Just saying….) Overall, the Blackland Prairie Chapter made a terrific contribution. We had 45 members contribute over 7000 observations during that seven-day period. We observed 931 different species! To put that in proper perspective, over the comparable week in 2019, our members made only 379 observations. According to my calculations, we made around 19 times as many observations this year as last!!
We held ten small group outings during the BioBlitz, and all the participants enjoyed getting a chance to explore with fellow Master Naturalists. Twenty-five members attended at least one outing, with some hardy souls attending five, six, or seven! We kicked off the week with an outing to Hunt County, an area that has had very little iNaturalist activity. Manju Ruikar (Class of 2020) kindly invited the group out to explore her family’s Hunt county property. There were 384 observations made in Hunt county during the BioBlitz, so we still have lots of room for improvement out there. Still, compared to the 15 observations made last year during this time period, we’ve come a long way! We made other outings to places new and old, from the Heard Sanctuary and Erwin Park, to Parkhill Prairie and Breckenridge Park. On Friday, we had perfect weather for exploring the Woodfin property. (Thanks, Bill and Fran, for having us!) We saw more butterflies at the beautiful Stiff Chapel Cemetery than we’d seen all week!
In addition to the outings, many people worked hard collecting observations on their own. We had several people new to iNaturalist jump in with both feet! A big welcome to iNaturalist for Rochelle Delozier (iNat ID “delozier4”). She just joined iNaturalist in August and made over 500 observations during the BioBlitz! Wow! Matt Delozier (iNat ID “outdoormatt”) wasn’t too far behind her, and Brent Blackwell (iNat ID “backfire”,) while not entirely new to iNaturalist, caught the bug this year and did some serious ‘Blitzing, too!
Identifying observations made by others is one area in which our chapter has historically lagged. However, we’re well on our way to remedying that this year! We had more people than ever before making identifications during the BioBlitz. Twelve members each provided identifications for over 100 observations made by others, and several chapter members each made thousands of BioBlitz ID’s. This is such an important part of the outreach component of iNaturalist, so a big thanks to people who worked on identifications!
Kudos to Sam Kieschnick for organizing this project and inspiring so many of us! Check out the whole project and results on iNaturalist: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/fall-socially-distant-bioblitz-dfw-urban-ecosystem Sam will be presenting a webinar reviewing the results and relevancy of the 2020 BioBlitz, on Friday, September 25, at 7:00 PM. Pre-registration required: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ssLSn7T6Qe6r_HfTAjyCtg
Hello Team BPTMN!
Are you ready for the DFW Fall BioBlitz? Here’s what you need to know to participate and do your part to make the BPTMN Team outrageously successful!
Event: Fall Socially Distant BioBlitz for DFW Master Naturalist Chapters
Date: September 6–12, 2020
Time: You choose! See BPTMN Participation Plan below.
Description: This is an iNaturalist umbrella project for all counties in the DFW extended area served by six Texas Master Naturalist chapters, including the Blackland Prairie Chapter. Observations of wild organisms made between September 6-12, 2020 will count. Observations made in identified counties will automatically be added to both that project and this umbrella project. You do not have to join to participate! Our chapter will get credit ONLY for observations made in Collin County or Hunt County during those days.
Plus, each day of the BioBlitz there will be a “daily challenge.” Sam Kieschnick will have a list of 7 things to look for, and those that find and document them get extra “respect” points. Respect points are worth their weight in gold!
At the end of the project, Sam Kieschnick will put together a report to highlight some of the cool finds.
And, one more thing: You do not have to be a master naturalist to participate in this project! So, Master Naturalists can involve family and friends in the fun. JUST REMEMBER: Wherever you make your observations, be mindful of COVID-19 realities like crowd size and social distancing, and don’t forget to wear your mask!
BPTMN Participation Plan
Link for Signing up for outings:
|Sunday, Sept 6||9:00 AM–12:00 PM||Manju Ruikar’s Property (Hunt County)|
|Monday, Sept 7||8:30–11:30 AM||Frisco Commons Park in Frisco|
|Monday, Sept 7||5:30–8:00 PM||Bonnie Wenk Park in McKinney|
|Tuesday, Sept 8||8:30–11:30 AM||Breckenridge Park in Richardson|
|Wednesday, Sept 9||8:30–11:30 AM||Heard Museum in McKinney|
|Thursday, Sept 10||8:30–11:30 AM||Parkhill Prairie in McKinney (Collin County)|
|Friday, Sept 11||8:30–11:30 AM||Erwin Park in McKinney|
|Friday, Sept 11||10:00 AM–12:00 PM||Chalk Hill Farm in McKinney|
|Friday, Sept 11||6:30–8:30 PM||Pond behind Hilton Garden Inn in Richardson|
|Saturday, Sept 12||8:30–11:30 AM||Holifield Environ Learning Center – Plano|
IDENTIFICATION WORK SESSIONS (Via Zoom)
Link for signing up for work sessions: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/5080A4DAFAD29A5F85-bioblitz
|Sunday, Sept 13||2:00-4:00 PM||Zoom Meeting|
|Tuesday, Sept 15||7:00-9:00 PM||Zoom Meeting|
Event Contact: Sam Kieschnick – firstname.lastname@example.org
BPTMN Contacts: Check in with the BPTMN iNaturalist Team: Lisa Travis email@example.com, Jean Suplick firstname.lastname@example.org, Valerie Dalton email@example.com, Sharla Stack firstname.lastname@example.org, Janice James email@example.com
Logging VH: Your VH should be logged as BPTMN: Blackland Prairie iNaturalist Project.Break down your time as follows in the description box: (1) Time spent in the field recording observations; (2) time spent online, identifying, editing, uploading your observations; (3) curating time reviewing, identifying and commenting on other’s iNaturalist observations. Twelve (12) hours VH/AT per day is the max allowed by the State.
Links for more information:
Here is the Umbrella Project Website:
Here is the BPTMN project page:
- When observations are made in Collin and Hunt Counties during September 6-12, they automatically go into the BPTMN project iNaturalist site without any extra steps.
Since 2009 the Texas legislature has designated the third full week in October as Texas Native Plant Week.
This year we have partnered with Texas Parks & Wildlife and Texas Agrilife Water University to celebrate Texas Native Plant Week with an iNaturalist Bioblitz.
The point is to see how many plants can be observed using the iNaturalist app during the week of October 20 – October 27. All plant observations made during the week in Texas with a photo will automatically be added to the project.
For our May 2019 Chapter meeting, come listen to Sam Kieschnick discuss “How iNaturalist Influences Land Management and Guides Public Policy”
Sam Kieschnick is an urban wildlife biologist with TPWD serving the east side of the DFW metroplex.
He previously worked as:
- A nature educator with the City of Mansfield at Oliver Nature Park
- A naturalist at the Fort Worth Nature Center and Refuge
- A science interpreter with the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
- A botanist with BRIT, and as an instructor at Weatherford College.
He has a master’s degree from Tarleton State University studying the genetics of pocket gophers.
As an urban wildlife biologist, Sam’s focus will be on three a’s:
- AWARENESS, APPRECIATION, and ACTION.