Annual Meetings Connect People
Every year, the State TMN Program plans and provides incredible annual meetings for Texas Master Naturalists™ that highlight ecosystems within a pre-chosen place in Texas. For 2023, it was South Texas and thornscrub and the beach and coastal estuaries that flank McAllen, Texas. Two chapters—South Texas Border and Rio Grand Valley—hosted more than 450 people.
Of the Coastal Prairie Chapter’s 225+ members, 34 committed, carpooled, and road-tripped down the coast from south of Houston to South Texas. We represented the most members from a single chapter in attendance out of the 42 chapters and 475 attendees there.
Judging from the boisterous tables in front on awards night, we were also the loudest!
For more information, read the annual recap posted October 23, 2023. ATTENDEES: Several emails were sent (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Re-cap) to meeting attendees; you won’t want to miss the information, photos, and fun quotes from members within those communications.
“I was super impressed with the communities around McAllen that have made preservation of natural spaces and education of the public about those habitats a very high priority. I visited six locations on field trips and I feel like I didn’t even scratch the surface of experiencing this amazing part of Texas. The whole experience—including the jaw-dropping eclipse—was expertly planned, extremely inspiring, and infinitely educational!“Jamie Fairchild
TMNCPC Class of 2012
Members who attend annual meetings know that the best fun is had outside with other TMNs learning on field trips. Whether mothing at Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley, chasing tiger beetles at La Sal del Rey, birding the San Benito Wetlands, bioblitzing the National Butterfly Center, or watching bats emerge all-at-once from their daytime roosts, there was something for everyone!
A variety and abundance of advanced training sessions were held in the McAllen Convention Center to keep our curiosity about nature satiated from the air-conditioned indoors Thursday and Friday.
On Saturday, the entire lot of us boarded buses, destination El Sauz Ranch to learn firsthand from event co-sponsor East Foundation and NASA and our co-sponsors, TPWD and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service about the eclipse and the constant work involved in stewarding the land for use by cattle, people, and wildlife … especially the endangered, beautiful ocelot.
These conservation stewards and champions are doing amazing things for us here in Texas and beyond; they deserve our full support and attention.
The timing was such that we viewed the “Ring of Fire” annular solar eclipse en masse from the comfort of our TMN folding chairs. Awe-inspiring connectedness outdoors!
Since the 2022 TMN Annual Meeting, these members in attendance were celebrated for the milestones achieved. Thank you, everyone, for your continued service to the chapter and the State of Texas!
- Bert Stipelcovich: 4,000 hours
- Susan Walther: 2,500 hours
- Susie Doe: 2,500 hours
- Joyce Tipton: 1,000 and 500 hours
- Kevin Kolk: 1000 hours
- Kerry Padilla: 500 and 250 hours
- Janice Poscovsky: Initial Certification, 250 and 500 hours
- Hoiman Low: 500 hours
- Andrea Morgenstern: 500 hours
- Lucy Moyer: 500 hours
- Lucy Randel: 500 hours
- Angela Sullivan LeDoux: 500 hours
- Ute Welk: 500 hours
- Jan Peterson: 250 hours
A Year of Planning, Five Days of Fun
Enjoy the four jam-packed, adventure-filled event days (with a bonus day added on) through a selection of member-provided photos, gallery below. If there is one thing that unites this Coastal Prairie Chapter it’s that we sure have a lot of fun together!
See ya’ll next year in 2024 in San Marcos, Texas.
Media Contest Winners
Winners of the media contest at the 2023 Texas Master Naturalist™ Annual Meeting in McAllen, Texas, were announced on Day 3, October 15th. Congratulations to the entire TMNCPC Communications team and to chapter member and Secretary, Joyce Tipton, for their award-winning contributions!
Category: Chapter at Work/Play — 1st Place
“Training Class in Bloom” by Joyce Tipton
Category: Chapter Newsletter — 1st Place
September 2023 Volume 11 Issue 9 Coastal Prairie Chapter Courier
Category: Detail and Macro — 3rd Place
“Colors of the Underside” by Joyce Tipton