Want to See All Projects? Review the Volunteer Service Projects for more project details.
Chapter Project Fair
Second Tuesday of each month at noon, the TMN State Office will offer an hour-long virtual advanced training event.
These will be recorded each month and shared to the TMNTuesday website.
TMN Tuesdays are open to the public – all are welcome to attend.
Register in advance for one or more webinars: Cisco Webex Meetings – Register Program
VMS Code: AT: TMN Tuesday (live or watch a recorded session in the same year.)
Project Fair Agenda
11:00am – Official Program Starts
11:10am – Rio Grande Valley Chapter presents Rio Grande Valley Pollinator Project + Q&A
11:30am – Hays County Chapter presents Beautiful Hays County Activity and Coloring Book + Q&A
11:50am – Rio Brazos Chapter presents their Brazos River Cleanup/Campout and Educational Extravaganza + Q&A
12:10pm – Galveston Bay Area Chapter presents their Bayside Regional Park: From Fish Farm to Natives + Q&A
12:30pm – Additional Questions, Final Wrap Up, and Closing
About the Projects
Rio Grande Valley Pollinator Project: The Texas Master Naturalist Rio Grande Valley Chapter welcomes the support of our community and partners as we come together to improve the habitat for our pollinators. Founding member and Texas Master Naturalist Chery Brummett took notice of the lack of habitat for pollinators during the 2022 Monarch Butterfly tagging season. She began reaching out to like-minded individuals within the community, and the Rio Grande Valley Pollinator Project was formed. The 1st meeting made it clear that we had a strong group of volunteers from the Chapter as well as the surrounding communities who were ready, willing, and able to do their part to improve the local habitat for these pollinators. Through outreach and education, we established a conduit to get the tools needed into the hands of our family, friends, and neighbors so they, too, can participate in making a positive difference. On a monthly basis, we continually meet to strategize and collaborate on both ongoing and upcoming projects. Outreach events have enabled us to share our passion for improving the pollinator habitat across the valley, not just for native pollinators but also for migratory species. Some of our efforts have included successful grants from Monarch Watch for native milkweed, assisting in city gardens, and working with city officials to bring more awareness about the benefits of native plants. A relocation initiative was launched to transfer native milkweed and plants from areas designated for development to community gardens in the same area; the partnership with local developers continues to expand with positive results. We have also established multiple media platforms to connect residents with native plant information and resources. Several members have pursued cultivating our own plants for distribution and seed harvesting with much success. Our vision includes obtaining a greenhouse for cultivating additional native milkweed and pollinator plants to address the scarcity of seeds and distribute them within the local region and beyond.
Mission Statement: Raise awareness across the Rio Grande Valley of pollinators and their need for sustainable, native-plant food sources and ecosystems so they can thrive and multiply.
Beautiful Hays County Activity and Coloring Book: Beautiful Hays County is a children’s activity and coloring book, published in spring of 2023 by the Hays County Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist™ program. This 25-page nature discovery guide showcases eleven Master Naturalist projects across Hays County. Created for promotional and educational purposes, the book encourages Hays County children and their parents to GO, KNOW, and GROW as citizen naturalists, learning ways to appreciate and cherish the natural world close to home. The book contains information and detailed illustrations about each site, a glossary, and a passport page to encourage and reward those who visit the parks, refuges, natural areas and preserves that are featured. The book aligns with the TEKS standards and the content of the Texas Master Naturalist™ training program. This foundation creates the platform for additional service-oriented programs – a Spanish translation, a website with supplementary resources for teachers and parents, a promotional tool for Outreach for our chapter and our partner sites, collaboration with schools and libraries, and the Nature Superstars – a month-long event this fall where we bring the book to life with educational events at each of the eleven sites.
Brazos River Cleanup/Campout and Educational Extravaganza: The Rio Brazos, known for recreation, electrical generation, irrigation, and home to countless animals, has also been used as a tire and trash dumping ground for over 100 years. In 2017 the Texas Master Naturalist, Rio Brazos Chapter, created a project to cleanse our namesake of tires, trash, and other debris that has accumulated over the decades. The project has morphed from a simple 4-mile section with 13 chapter members participating in 2017 to a 17-mile stretch worked by four crews and over 60 participants this year. Our goal is to continue bringing other groups into the project as we expand our footprint (or should I say erase footprints) up and down the Brazos. We utilize canoes, kayaks, and foot patrols to clean the river, sandbars, and banks. In 2018 we added a weekend campout to the cleanup as a way for chapter members to have the time to visit and really get to know each other. In 2019 we began utilizing chapter members to give advanced training classes on Sundays. This multiple-event weekend of cleaning the river on Saturday and engaging in classes on Sunday quickly became a successful template to draw volunteers from the community as well as a tool for recruiting new members. We have had several non-profit groups join the project as we gained experience each year handling volunteers on the river and want-to-be naturalists attending weekend lectures. This year we invited five other chapters to join us for the weekend event. We now set up tents and campers on Friday and start the festivities with a welcome dinner that night. Saturday is reserved for our river cleanup, and Sunday is a full day of advanced training classes. The 2023 classes were taught not only by our educators but also those from other chapters, as well as individuals from TPWD, NRCS, the Brazos River Authority, and the Lower Brazos Riverwatch. On Monday, we have a long bird walk followed by a final brunch, break down, and goodbyes. With measurable results of over 20,000 pounds of tires and trash collected, new members recruited, and new friends and chapters participating, we would like to invite all Texas Master Naturalist members to join us in 2024.
Bayside Regional Park: From Fish Farm to Natives: Bayside Regional Park is in a diverse, under- served community in Bacliff, Texas. When GBAC members learned that Galveston County had purchased a 64-acre fish farm and intended to convert it to a park, they began working with the Galveston County Parks Department for approval via a Memorandum of Understanding, to install native plants in a 1-acre area of the park. A Steering Committee of the GBAC was formed to plan the project. Volunteers collected seeds, propagated, purchased, and planted plants, developed soil amendments, created an iNaturalist project, installed a water feature for wildlife, built and installed Bluebird nesting boxes, applied for grants, conducted outreach activities for Seniors and the public, and planted native trees along a planned pathway. Using only native plants found on the Floyd Waller 1974 Plant Survey, a Native Plant Exhibit was planted, including a demonstration Pollinator Garden, and a demonstration Prairie Garden. A native prairie re-creation is underway. Future plans include forming a youth birding and/or junior naturalist group.