Article in Texas Coop

This article tells how 10,000 volunteers in 48 chapters of the Texas Master Naturalist program, which is largest and oldest statewide program of its type, is helping to make a difference for the future of natural resources.

Congratulations Volunteers! 


Highland Lakes Master Naturalists awarded pins and certificates to members who had qualifying volunteers hours at the last Chapter Meeting.


Milestone Pins

Certifications and Recertifications

Click on photos to enlarge. Photos by Martelle Luedecke

Great Outdoor Project (G.O.P.) at Inks Lake State Park 2017

Photos by Sue Kersey


Congratulations Class of 2017

Graduation Ceremony at Bamberger Ranch

Photos by Susan Downey


Grand Opening of the Granite Shoals Wildlife Viewing Station

The City of Granite Shoals and Highland Lakes Master Naturalists joined together to create a community paradise and Sunday, April 30th was the grand opening of that effort.The two entities entered into a partnership Granite Shoals Wildlife Viewing Station Road which on 132 secluded acres at 2221 Phillips Ranch Road. The City of Granite Shoals provided the land as a park and Highland Lakes Master Naturalists (HLMN) provided the equipment, supplies, and manpower for the wildlife viewing station. At the opening day ceremony, Mayor Carl Brugger welcomed everyone, Fredi Franki of HLMN thanked all the volunteers, and Seth Smith, Chair of the Parks Advisory Committee invited us to return to enjoy the City’s numerous parks. And in the background, Goldfinches and Hummingbirds were entertaining at their feeders.

Members of the HLMN Board, Marvin Bloomquist, George Brugnoli, Melissa Duckworth, Fredi Franki, Ed Myatt, Linda O’Nan, and Allan Wolfe, approved funding for the Wildlife Viewing Station in December 2016 and the Membership approved the funding in the Fall of 2016. Work began in February 2017 and was mostly complete by the end of March. There were thirty-three volunteers logging in 839.5 hours to date. By Texas Parks and Wildlife standards, that is a value of $19,038.50 in labor. There were also hours recorded in the planning phase, but those have not been tabulated. Materials and equipment cost have been around $8,000.


Don’t Mess with Texas  Great Trash Off 2017

Don’t Mess with  Texas Great Trash Off is an event that is held once a year in partnership with Adopt-A-Highway program. It is the largest clean up event in Texas. Friends of Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery and Friends of Inks Lake State Park have adopted the two mile section along Park Road 4 in front of the Hatchery and to the entrance of the State Park under the Adopt-A-Highway program. These are photos are of the two groups at this year’s Don’t Mess with Texas Great Trash Off along Park Rd. 4.

2017 Hill Country Lawn and Garden Show

Phil Wyde reported the following activity at the HLMN Booth during the  Lawn and Garden Show:
1.  We had 385 people stop at our booth.
2.  Nearly 1/2 were children.
3.  With the possibility of only 2 adults every visitor showed interest and seemed to really like our
      presentations on ladybugs, dragonflies and damselflies.
4.  I heard many, “I did not know that!”  Also, “Wow, Amazing and Cool!”
5.  I also was asked numerous times about who to contact to become a Master Naturalist.  We really need
     handouts with some basic information about the HLMN, when the next class starts and how to get on a
     list.  I think that the number of requests showed that our group looked good!
6.  The Lady Bug and Dragon and Damsel Fly Trunks worked very well.  Lots of good material.
7.  Every HLMN Volunteer manning our booth was outstanding.  I think each of them had both a good time,
     and more importantly, a rewarding time.



Volunteers Ray  Buchanan, Eva, Hobbs, Pam Walt, Marry Musselman, Phil Wyde and Alice Rheaume

Photos by Sue Kersey

New Officers for 2017



Photo by Sue Kersey and Martelle Luedecke


  • President – Cathy Hill

  • Vice – President – Martelle Luedecke

  • Secretary – Karen Lundquist

  • Treasurer – Susan Downey

  • Past President and HLMN State Representative – Melissa Duckworth

  • Training Class Coordinators – Marcy Westcott and Ann Cook

  • Membership Chairman and VMS Coordinator – Marilyn McClain

  • Advanced Training and Volunteer Service Director – Terry Bartoli

  • Electronic Communications Coordinator – Marvin Bloomquist

  • Member-at-Large – Eva Hobbs and Morgan Beck


Kids’ Day Out -2016

The annual Kids’ Day Out was held on September 10th this year at the YMCA in Burnet. As you can see by the first picture, it started out a very rainy day. But the weather turned around and it was a beautiful day for the event. HLMN Volunteers manned a Tree Give Away Booth and the TPW Kayak Pool. At the HLMN Tree Give Away Booth, children potted their own trees. Backbone Nursery donated Texas Red Oak, Chinkapin Oak, Carolina Buckthorn, and Eve’s Necklace trees. Be sure to thank Backbone for their support when you are there. At the Kayak Pool, children learned the basics of kayaking. Photos are by Alice Rheaume and Samm Luedecke


HLMN Milestone Pins for August 2016 Presentation

5000 hours

 Jerry Stacy – 5,000 hours+


Jerry’s favorite HLMN Volunteer activities have been

  • Monitoring Wood Duck nest boxes
  • Building the Wildlife Viewing Station at Inks Lake State Park
  • Helping Texas Parks and Wildlife with duck and turkey banding
  • Assisting biologist with antler and age measurement during deer season
  • Surveying plants and birds
  • Leading interpretive hikes talking about plants

2500 hours







2500 hoursTerry Bartoli, Linda O’Nan, Marvin Bloomquist, Mike Childers, and Ann Cook. 

  • Terry Bartoli enjoys working with TPWD doing turkey banding, spotlight surveys, dove banding, etc. Anything that gets me into the outdoors doing field research. Also GOP!
  • Linda O’Nan’s favorite project is installation and ongoing maintenance of the ILSP wildlife viewing station native plant garden as well as maintenance at the Ed center gardens at the Hatchery. LMAP team activities have been most enjoyable and educational, and she looks forward to more site visits to hone her ID skills further. 
  • Marvin Bloomquist’s most satisfying hours came from being Training Class Coordinator. He was the first HLMN member to obtain 1,000 volunteer hours.
  • Mike Childers has been the editor of the Newsletter and has enjoyed working at Blueweed control, Pollinator gardens, assistant Class Coordinator, and Native Plant Week Events.
  • Ann Cook has been Bamberger Ranch Coordinator and recently served as Training Class Coordinator.

Some volunteers not pictured.

picture for cathy


1000 hoursPat Campbell, Sharon Drake, Cathy Hill, Melanie Huff & David Payton. David Payton not pictured.

500 hours






500 hours-Maggie Booth, Jane Brunclik, Dennis Ellison, Lori Greco, M.J. Hansen, Marilyn Lageman, John McClintock, Hollis Neier, Jean Schar, Sheryl Smith Rodgers, Jan Warren, Fred Zagst & Kay Zagst. Some volunteers not pictured.

250 hours






250 hoursMorgan Beck, Linda Brown, Joy Ellen Collins, Helen Dillon, Harris Greenwood, Judy Haralson, Kay Herring, Eva Hobbs, Wayne Holly, Marilyn McClain, Deb McClintock, Beth Mortenson, Mary Musselman, Dan Nutter, Gretchen Pachlhofer, Cindy Sterling, Ellis Winkler & Alan Wolfe. Some volunteers not pictured.


Recertification –

Bartoli, Terry; Beck, Morgan; Belz, Jan; Bixler, Sherry; Booth, Maggie; Bouchard, Betsy; Breazeale, Becky; Brugnoli, George; Brunclik, Jane; Buchanan; Ray; Campbell Pat; Childers, Mike; Childers, Sammye; Cook, Ann; Cruikshank, Betty; Davis, Lyn; Dearmont, Marjorie; D’Orsogna, Paula; Downey, Susan; Drago, Hanna; Duck-worth, Melissa; Eaton, Minnie; Escamilla, Celia; Faught, Cris; Fischer, Joanne; Fox, Sondra; Franki, Fredi; Greco, Lori; Hansen, M.J.; Haralson, Judy; Herter, Ralph; Hill, Cathy; Hobbs, Eva; Holly, Anne; Holly, Wayne; Hutson, Billy; Jernigan, Suze; Kersey, Sue; McClain, Marilyn; Mikels, Bonnie; Morgan, Susan; Moroney, Debora; Mussel-man, Mary; O’Nan, Linda; Pachlhofer, Gretchen; Parker, Karyn; Payton, David; Rheaume, Alice; Schar, Jean; Sta-cy, Jerry; Whaley, Terri; Winslow, Shirley; Wolfe, Alan; Wolheim, Lynn; Wyde, Philip; Zagst, Fred; Zagst, Kay; Zender, Ray. Some volunteers not pictured.



brianna and melissa

This summer, Highland Lakes Master Naturalists Chapter sponsored Brianna Arnold to attend the Ranch Brigade Camp of the Texas Brigades Program which took place July 18-22nd on a private ranch in Santa Anna, Texas located in North Central Texas. Brianna, a local eighth grader, spoke at the August Highland Lakes Master Naturalists  Chapter meeting and this is what she said about her experience at the camp. She arrived at the Ranch Brigade Camp around 2:00 on Monday. Activities began immediately and she was busy until she left on Friday. The campers learned about Land Stewardship, Animal Handling, Species of Grasses and Leadership. They collected grasses and mounted them on poster board for future reference.  Campers were involved in leadership and teambuilding activities.  Brianna stayed up until 3:00 Friday morning working on a display board for her favorite subject, Animal Handling. Brianna said she had a lot of fun at the camp and would like to attend one of the five other camps.




The graduation was held at May 19, at the Bamburger Ranch. All 19 of the Class Members graduated. Here is a look at the celebration. Photos by Susan Downey


Open House at Inks Dam National Fish Hatchery – 2016

The Open House was held on Sunday, April 24th from 11:00 to 3:00 and was well attended. There was a Snake Show, a Discovery Trunk, Lady Bug and Fish information mini booths and viewing at the Bird Blind. Here are some photos of the event.

Photos by Alice Rheaume


2016 Great Outdoor Program at Inks Lake State Park

The Great Outdoor Program (G.O.P.) at Inks Lake State Park is an HLMN Project aimed at area first graders. The schools are divided up into groups and the groups rotate among the five stations: Aquatics, Butterflies, Trees, Birds, and Animal Groups. Cathy Hill, the Coordinator of the the G.O.P. sent a big THANK YOU to all our volunteers. She said, “ We could not have done it without you!! YOU ARE THE BEST!!! The change in dates and locking in the schedule on the calendar really made a difference.”

Here are the numbers from Cathy – “ 47 participating Master Naturalist,2 trainees,540 children educated and 300 adults from 7 schools over 6 days!”

  • Thank you to our station leaders, workers, guides, photographers, and supply/snack/water people!
  • Thank you to FOIL and ILSP staff and Hosts!
  • Thank you to the people who were there every day!  And thank you to the rest for whatever number of days you were there!
  • Thank you to the people who didn’t mind me shuffling you around despite what the original roster said!
  • Thank you to those who got sick and kept coming and thank you to those who unfortunately could not come due to illness and other unforeseen circumstances.
  • Hope everyone is on the road to recovery and feeling better soon!
  • Thank you for your support, smiles, enthusiasm, and hard work!

And yes, even though I am slated to be HLMN President next year, I still intend to remain in charge of GOP for the next few years unless something prevents me from doing so.  I have found my niche.

Photos by Sue Kersey



It was a beautiful day for an Easter Egg Hunt and Sean Jones, Park Ranger said, “thank you all for the help and time y’all put in to make this year’s Easter event a very fun and successful time for lots of families. As many of you witnessed lots of energetic kids can pick up a lot of eggs in not a lot of time! Your support of our activities is truly received with much gratitude”.

Photos by Martelle Luedecke, Click on images to enlarge


2016 Class

The Training Class is all smiles and learning about Archeology and Geology at Upper Highland Lakes Nature Center. Class coordinators Marcy Westcott and Ann Cook are on the front row, far right and center.

Photo by Marcy Westcott


Clean Sweep at Inks Lake State Park

Clean Sweep is an annual HLMN event that helps the Park get ready for GOP (for new members, Great Outdoors Program [more coming from Cathy Hill]), Spring Break and our summer visitors. Clean Sweep has been a project of HLMN since 2004. Last year we held three Clean Sweeps and, with over 90 total HLMN participants (some repeats, of course), we made significant progress on the Devil’s Backbone Nature Trail, says George Brugnoli of the Friends Group. This year we held two events

On February 24th, volunteers worked the Pecan Flats Primitive Camping Area. You can see from the photos below, that a lot of hard work made for a much improved camping area.

Photos by Alice Rheaume, Click on images to enlarge

On March 3rd the second Clean Sweep was held to clean up the central part of the park. Park Hosts, volunteers who supplement park staff and give assistance to visitors, routinely clean the central part of the park. However, there are certain areas in the park they cannot reach. During Clean Sweep, special equipment was used and a pack of volunteers combed the campgrounds and lakeshore. Waders and kayakers scoured the lake too.

HLMN and Park Hosts joined forces and collected enough trash this year to fill a TRASH DUMPSTER. Trash had accumulated from heavy rains and river runoff. “Secondly, the lake has a privately owned side and flotsam makes it across the lake” says George Brugnoli. Sean Jones, Park Ranger, thanked all the volunteers for their hard work. If you get a chance this spring or summer, pay a visit to the cleanest park in Texas – Inks Lake State Park.

HLMN Volunteers, Park Hosts, and Sean Jones

HLMN Volunteers, Park Hosts, and Sean Jones


Sammye Childers Receives Award

Sammye President's Award1

At the January Chapter meeting, Sammy Childers was presented the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Sammye received the highest honor, the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for those who contribute more than 4,000 hours of service in their lifetime. Along with the ultimate honor of presidential recognition, Sammye received a personalized certificate, an official eagle pin, and a congratulatory letter from President Obama.

Glass Recycling

Bring your “washed” glass containers and other items for recycling to the Chapter Meeting.

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