Page 1


Events Volunteer Opportunities Education & Training

Alamo Area Chapter Volume 15 No. 6


June, 2011

By Liz Robbins


The Spring 2011 members proved to be a very enthusiastic group. Out of 35 members, 33 graduated. Five of the 33 graduated with certification and were awarded the white dragonfly pin. For an added 40 VSH + 8 AT, NANCY THOSS was also awarded this year's Horned Lizard pin! Great work Nancy and all the class #28 members! We look forward to seeing you along the trails, the fields and the parks, working with the members of our community, young and old, educating them about the importance of becoming good land stewards. Graduation photos provided by Pam Ball.


This year, the statewide Texas Master Naturalist Annual Meeting will be held October 21-23 at Mo Ranch, about 23 miles west of Kerrville. This is a wonderful way to meet TMNs from all over the state and learn about what their chapters are doing throughout their communities. Dozens of advanced training topics are offered, presented by some of the best natural resources experts in the field. When registration is opened, you should register as soon as possible to ensure you receive the topics of your choice. Once the classes fill to capacity, registration for those classes closes. There are photo and art popular vote contests, along with newsletter, scrapbook and project contests. Last year the AAMN chapter entered our newsletter, scrapbook, and a chapter project in the popular vote contest. In addition, we nominated sponsor Bryan Davis for the Chapter Advisor Award. At the Texas Master Naturalist store, merchandise is available, including the introduction of new products. A silent auction is also held to raise funds for the annual conference, scholarships, and awards. There are roundtable discussions on a variety of topics important to local chapters. Cumulative service pins are awarded at the TMN Awards & Recognition Ceremony. At this past 2010 annual meeting, several of our AAMN members were awarded their pins during the Saturday night banquet. Anton Hajek-Class #1 is pictured in the photo at the left, after he received his 2500 hour pin. Great work Anton! Over 360 people from 38 local chapters attended the statewide annual conference. Hope you plan on being one of those. We'd like 2011 to be the year AAMN breaks last year's attendance record of 22! Keep in mind, the food is good, a cash bar is available, and there are numerous opportunities to meet and become acquainted with other MNs from around the state. Why bring this up now? The cost can be somewhat pricey. So if you plan ahead now, putting a little bit of savings aside each month will help with the cost of registration and room and board. Hope you save the date and join your fellow MN for a weekend of training, fun and fellowship. Thanks to Ron Tullius for helping with this article. Liz Robbins

Board Meeting June 14 5:30 p.m. Agrilife Extension Classroom #208 General Meeting 7:008:00 p.m. Agrilife Extension Classroom #208 3355 Cherry Ridge San Antonio, TX 78232

President Liz Robbins 830-336-2778 Vice-President Linda Gindler Treasurer Jamie Daily Secretary Barbara Harder

Immediate Past President Anton Hajek

NEWS FROM THE BOARD COMMITTEES Projects to be reviewed for approval as a Master Naturalist activity must be submitted on the Submission for Activity Approval form before the event. Forms can be obtained by contacting Pamela Ball,, or from the AAMN website at:

PLEASE REPORT YOUR HOURS ! ACTIVATE YOUR 2011GOOGLE DOCS ACCOUNT TODAY Reporting hours is easy on Google Docs or with the EXCEL spreadsheet form that was developed for e-mail submission or for mailing in your hours. It is available online, go to and click AAMN Volunteer Hours Log .

Where to report your hours by mail or e-mail: Last names A-H Last Names I-M Last names N-Z Nancy Thoss Howard Homan Ling Yin Liu 1610 Forest Spring 1218 Olympic Club 4946 Dare Lane San Antonio, TX 78260 San Antonio, TX 78260 San Antonio, TX 78217 John Wolcott,, & Roy Yarnold,, have not only volunteered to assist you with this effort but also serve as the clearing-house for information regarding reported hours, hours that have vanished and those that have gone unreported. ‘One of a kind’ certification pins are awarded each year to those who achieve eight hours of advanced training and 40 hours of volunteer service. This year that pin is a Horned Lizard. Milestone dragonfly pins are also awarded for 250, 500, 1000, 2500, and 5000 VSH.

Ron Tullius Receives Award at Spring Fling

MONTHLY MEETINGS June 14th Meeting, 7-8 p.m. Dr. Rich Fleming, Master Naturalist and meteorologist, will make a presentation on violent weather and the weather patterns that lead to it. Considering the catastrophic weather that has been in the news recently, this will be a very timely presentation that should be of interest to all master naturalists. See you at the program! Approved for Advanced Training There will be no meeting in July due to the AAMN Retreat.

AAMN Documents Online At: AAMN Documents Access important chapter documents including bylaws and minutes online. Congratulations to Ron Tullius who was presented the Outstanding Volunteer Award at the Spring Fling. Thank you Ron, for your countless hours of volunteer service dedicated to this organization and the natural world. You are truly appreciated. To learn more about Ron's contributions and other special member awards, please visit the AAMN website at, and click on the 'About' section. 2



ancy Phillips is working on a project that will display all the wonderful things our members are doing out in the community. Send your photos, with captions when possible, to Photos are also needed for the web & facebook.

Activities Information Chair Pam Ball Community Outreach Lissa Martinez Historian Nancy Phillips Hospitality Chair Nancy Brown Membership & Pin Awards Chair John Wolcott Hours Submission Nancy Thoss Howard Homan Ling Yin Liu Media & Technology Chair David Reichert Newsletter Editor Calendar Frank Ballard Web Pages Evelyn Penrod Marketing Info & Materials Milly Alejos Programs Chair Jessica Leslie Education & Training Chair Pam Ball

Update Your Contact Info CLICK HERE to update your contact information. Just fill in the form and click SUBMIT.

Vol. 15, No. 6—June, 2011



This year's was a total success! The planning and preparations by the Hospitality Committee were outstanding. The weather was perfect, the food was wonderful and the attendance was great! Many thanks go out to the following: · Hospitality Chair, Nancy Brown, for spearheading the event · Wendy Thornton for helping procure the location, security guards, and helping with decorations · Maria Luhrman for the very nice decorations, nametags, and for helping with decorations · Linda Mitchell for donating the best western outfit prize and helping with decorations · Kim Carrell for providing the sound system · Peggy York for offering to drill members’ nametags for inserting pins · Bill Woller for helping with the decorations · Richard Pena for serving as the SAPAR staff member on duty and helping with decorations · All the AAMN Members that attended and shared their wonderful snacks and desserts! Cheryl Hamilton won the best western outfit prize, a gift certificate to Rudy's BBQ and Ron Tullius was presented a plaque as the Outstanding Volunteer. Great fun was had by all who attended and we look forward to next year's party. Lottie Milsaps said it best. "It's like a family reunion." Many thanks to Nancy and Lee Phillips for taking such wonderful photos of the event!

Pictured on the left are Wendy and Nancy greeting Nancy Thoss and her husband at the sign-in table. Wendy holding one of the marvelous dishes shared by our members. On the right, Cheryl Hamilton, wearing the prize winning Western Contest Outfit, visiting with Nancy Phillips and Charlee McCarl, who is also showing off her western spunk!

Thanks to Gail Cooper, Class #4, for the special dragonfly decorated cupcakes. John Wolcott awarded members, like Lissa Martinez, with their special volunteer service hours pins. The Membership Committee, Ling Liu, Nancy Thoss, and Howard Homan, assist. On the right is Alan Kuentz checking out his pin.

Members of the Hospitality Committee, Maria Luhrman, Wendy Thornton, and Linda Mitchell, pictured on the left. Our biggest thanks go to Nancy Brown, Hospitality Committee Chair! Kudos to Nancy for a great event! Vol. 15, No. 6—June, 2011


Eisenhower Park, 19399 NW Military Hwy. Despite the drought, it has been a great season in the City of San Antonio Natural Areas. A few people had the rare opportunity this spring to follow a family of Golden-cheeked warblers in one of the Natural Areas. Don Pylant with the city has been hard at work putting together an unbelievable slideshow on the Natural Areas website (link below). Many thanks to Lora Render for volunteering her time and for taking some amazing photos. Also, many thanks to Diane Fey and Lora Reynolds for their help as well. We hope next season is as grand as this one! Eisenhower Park, Sat, June 11, 10-12 am, 19399 NW Military Hwy (map) Water Saver Walk: San Antonio River Authority's Matt Driffell demonstrates the value of watersheds and introduces the river critters with his discussion of the San Antonio River Basin. With a scaled model of the river basin and some live macro-invertebrates, he will help us all understand this precious water resource. Approved for Advanced Training Hikes can change, many have fees and limited numbers—Please call 210372-9124 for information and reservations. __________________________________________________________ Crownridge Canyon, Sat, June 4, 10am – 12pm, 7222 Luskey (map) The flowers are still blooming. Master Naturalist Ron Tullius will share information about the canyon plants you will see. Bring at least one full water bottle per person! Reservations are suggested; walks occasionally change. Approved for Advanced Training Hikes can change, many have fees and limited numbers—Please call 210372-9124 for information and reservations. __________________________________________________________ Medina River Natural Area, 15890 Highway 16 South, (map) Where have all the horny toads gone? Sat, June 11, 9-11 a.m., Join Ryan Darr, TPWD Wildlife Biologist, to discuss the many factors causing the disappearance of Texas Horned Lizards. Approved for Advanced Training Viva Voluntarios! (VSH) Sat, June 25, 8am – 12pm, Volunteers are needed on the last Saturday of every month to help beautify the Medina River Natural Area. Our trails offer visitors opportunities to hike, bike, and fish, as well as having world-class birding. The hiking trails have varying levels of accessibility, with surfaces ranging from concrete to crushed gravel to cleared natural trails. Approved for Volunteer Service Hours Contact Education Coordinator Susan Campbell (210) 624-2575 for information, fees, and reservations. ________________________________________________________ SAPAR is hosting a clean up day at Woodlawn Lake, June 25, 8:3011:30 a.m. For information, contact Meredith Ruiz at (210) 207-8603, Approved for Volunteer Service Hours


Government Canyon State Natural Area Hikes, Programs & Events - June 2011 For more information or to make a Reservation, email Entry Fees Apply, Reservations Required, Call (210) 688-9055 ext 291 for more information. June 5, 2011 — First Sunday Haiku Hike 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.; Enjoy an experience that combines immersion in the natural world and creative writing. Led by local poet Mobi Warren, it includes an introduction to haiku and other short poem forms, a three-mile hike and quiet time sitting along the trail to write VHS if Assisting June 5, 2011 – Government Canyon: A Story of Community Hear the story of how Government Canyon State Natural Area came to be from one of the individuals that made it happen. Kyle Cunningham will talk about the conditions that led to the acquisition of the property and the people and organizations involved. Reservations recommended. Open to all ages; children must be accompanied by an adult; no pets please. Meet at the Exhibit Hall at the Visitors Center; 7pm-8:30 pm; reservations will be accepted from noon on May 5 until noon June 4, 2011. Please email names of each participant, age if under 18, email address or telephone # for each reservation. Approved for Advanced Training June 11, 2011 — Hike the Canyon Knowledgeable guides discuss the flora, fauna, natural and cultural history of this awesome natural area on this exploration. Length of walk and interpretive topic will vary, depending on the group. Note new start time: 8:00 am – Noon; subject to cancellation. VHS if Assisting June 18, 2011 — Explore the Canyon Just for Fun. Knowledgeable guides discuss the flora, fauna, natural and cultural history of this awesome natural area on this exploration. Length of walk and interpretive topic will vary, depending on the group. Open to all ages; group size limited to the first 12 people; Natural Area entry fees apply. Meet at the Visitors Center by the rainwater harvesting tower. No pets please. Note new start time: 8:00am-Noon; subject to cancellation. June 25, 2011 - Family Fun at Gov’t Canyon! Just for Fun. Enjoy an hour of kid-friendly interpretation and activities. Programming Meet at the Visitor Center by the rainwater harvesting tower, rain or shine. No reservations necessary; no pets please. 10:30 am - noon; Vol. 15, No. 6—June, 2011

Congratulations to Lindsay Ratcliffe, member of the AAMN Class 21, for receiving the 2011 University of Texas at San Antonio President's Teaching Award. We have had another active month. We are required to send in a quarterly report to State as of the end of June. Please take time to update your hours by July 7th to give us some wiggle room in preparing that report. If you need any assistance with data entry or have questions, don’t hesitate to email or call me. If I have failed to recognize your award, please let me know. Person Judith Barber Karen Davidson Stan Drezek Maria Luhrman Lynn Richards Mike Startzell

Class 28 28 27 28 27 28

Awards Dragon Fly Dragon Fly Dragon Fly Dragon Fly Dragon Fly Dragon Fly

Frank Ballard Carolyn Estes Diane Fey Ann Gulley Cheryl Hamilton Jessica Leslie Lissa Martinez Leacy Piper Rick Pulis Liz Robbins Catherine Rose John Wolcott

20 24 23 20 21 20 25 28 21 17 22 24

Horned Lizard Horned Lizard Horned Lizard Horned Lizard Horned Lizard Horned Lizard Horned Lizard Horned Lizard Horned Lizard Horned Lizard Horned Lizard Horned Lizard

The following AAMN members earned longevity awards: Carolyn Estes Charlee McCarl

24 10

250 hours 250 hours

Lissa Martinez Catherine Rose

25 22

500 hours 500 hours

John Wolcott, Membership Chair jwolcott@satx, or (210) 497-4365.

Bird Count/Survey Sat, June 25, 8am – 12pm Mitchell Lake Audubon Center, 10750 Pleasanton Road, San Antonio, TX (map) Bird count/Survey is conducted every fourth Saturday. Be sure to wear appropriate clothing, including a hat, long pants, closed-toes shoes. Wear sunscreen and bring water! We can even loan you binoculars if you need them. Approved for Volunteer Service Hours

Vol. 15, No. 6—June, 2011

Outreach Volunteer Opportunities The Therapeutic Family Life, , received a grant from TPWD to have an Outdoor Day on Saturday, June 25th from 9:00am-3:00pm. We are hoping that Alamo Area Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist volunteers would be able to provide educational outdoor activities for the foster children here at the center. If you are interested in presenting a nature outdoor activity for this event, please contact . Approved for Volunteer Service Hours The Texas Forest Service regional urban forester, Paul Johnson, will welcome AAMN representation and an information table at the June 16 Texas Emerging Communities regional workshop, which is intended to improve natural resource planning by small community leaders who are anticipating fast population and development growth in the next decade or so. Most of these towns probably do not have TMN chapters now and we can introduce the ideas of the TMN program to support their community needs. The event is 9 to 1 in downtown San Antonio. Please contact Lissa Martinez ( or Liz Robbins to volunteer to help talk about the MN program with workshop participants. Approved for Volunteer Service Hours _________________________________________________

Flying Wild, Tue, June 7, 9am – 4pm Sebastopol House State Historic Site, 704 Zorn St Seguin, TX 78155-5401 (map) DescriptionFlying WILD, a companion piece to Project WILD, explores bird conservation through classroom activities and stewardship projects. During the six-hour workshop participants will receive an educator’s manual, sample activities and explore guidelines on how to implement school bird festivals and conservation projects. Fees free for Title I teachers, $15 for all others; preregistration required. For info, contact or 830-2494616. Approved for Advanced Training


San Antonio Botanical Garden, 555 Funston Pl, San Antonio, Tx (map)

Water Saver Walk, Fri, June 3, 10am – 12am and June 18, 10 am-12 am, Sponsored by the San Antonio Water System. Looking for ideas about how to have a beautiful landscape at your home AND conserve water? Wondering what plants grow best in San Antonio soils and are the most efficient water users? Get answers to your landscaping questions by joining San Antonio Botanical Garden Guides for a tour of the WaterSaver Garden exhibits. The tour includes information about planning, planting and maintaining your low-water use landscape year-round. WaterSaver Walks are free with Garden admission. Participants receive a FREE copy of the San Antonio Water System's Landscape Care Guide. For more info contact: Sasha Kodet (210)207-3270 Approved for Advanced Training

Beginning Bird Walk, Sat, June 18, 9:00am – 10:30am Third Saturday of each month. Meet at Carriage House. Enjoy birds in native habitats at the Garden and check out our Bird Watch in the South Texas area. Our bird checklist is at Meet at the Carriage House. Walks held on the third Saturday of the month. Free for SA Botanical Garden members; nonmembers $8/adult. 555 Funston. 207-3250. Approved for Advanced Training _____________________________________________________

Summer Science Camp Mon, June 20-24, 9:30am – 3:00pm Bexar County Extension Office, 3355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 208, San Antonio, Texas (map) Volunteers needed to help with camp activities such as collecting, pinning, and experiments. Science camp for ages 7-11, covering water education and science, entomology, horticulture, and nutrition. Activity sponsor: Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Bexar County. Contact: Molly Keck at 210-467-6575 or Approved for Volunteer Service Hours

Summer Bug Camp Sat, June 25-29, 9:00am – 12:30p Bexar County Extension Office, 355 Cherry Ridge, Suite 208, San Antonio, Texas (map) Volunteers needed to help with camp activities such as collecting, pinning, and experiments. Entomology camp for youth ages 7 and up. During camp we will be collecting insects, making insect collections, performing experiments on insects and learning about insects. Contact: Molly Keck at 210-467-6575 or Approved for Volunteer Service Hours 6

News from the Balcones Satellite of the Texas Invaders Incentive Awards Program The Balcones Satellite in conjunction with the Texas Invasives is giving incentive awards to someone in each Citizen Scientist training session who records a predetermined number of invasive observations. One awardee received a book: Invasive Plants: Guide to Identification and the Impacts and Control of Common North American Species by Sylvan Ramsey Kaufman and Wallace Kaufman. Leacy Piper, Spring 2011 AAMN graduate (Class 28), received the other award, a Garmin Etrex GPS unit. Leacy Piper completed her Citizen Scientist Training at the Headwaters Sanctuary in April of this year. Her incentive award of the GPS unit was made for the first person in the class to record 75 or more invasive plant observations to the Texas Invasives database. The presentation was made by Lonnie Shockley , leader of the Balcones Satellite, at the AAMN graduation ceremonies. Leacy has been actively involved in invasives identification and eradication in the Balcones Satellite project areas. Summer Invasive Plant Eradication Plans. Summer plans for invasive plant activities at Rancho Diana and nearby areas will continue the regular Tuesday mornings with cancellation for bad weather (including high heat and humidity). Scheduled June dates are: Tuesday, June 7, 14, 21, and 28. Volunteers meet outside the gate at Rancho Diana at 7:30 AM and conclude at 9:30 or 10:00 AM. Please confirm your interest by contacting Lonnie Shockley at by 6:00 PM on the Monday evening before t h e s c h e d u l e d s e s s i o n . Approved for Volunteer Service Hours Headwaters Workdays Please email Michelle Dangler, for information about First Friday Workday, June 3, 2-5 p.m. Approved for Volunteer Service Hours COSA Parks & Recreation needs volunteers to help with Keep SA Beautiful event at Texas Folklife Festival, June 10-12. Volunteers will help implement recycling efforts during the event. Contact Christina Aronhalt of Keep San Antonio Beautiful, Inc at (210) 207-6461, for details. VHS Vol. 15, No. 6—June, 2011

City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department Natural Areas The Memory of Rain by Wendy Leonard. A clap of thunder, a bolt of lightning, darkening skies, cool breezes, and the smell of rain provide much relief to Central Texas locked in a drought. From the time the rain drops hit the parched soil, not one moment is wasted. Plants, with their fibrous roots work quickly to soak up the moisture. Bulbs lying dormant in the ground, like the giant rain lily (Cooperia pedunculata), spring to life in a matter of a day. Appearing first as light pink protrusions from the ground with green leaf blades soon to follow, rain lilies are up and blooming 1 to 3 days after a significant rain event during the spring and summer. The beautiful white/light pink flowers, measuring up to 2 inches across, last only for a day or two before they wither away ( Seeds begin to quickly develop where the flowers once were and soon black seeds spread on a once again parched ground. In an area where significant rainfall is few and far between, the rain lily has a competitive advantage. It has the ability to lie dormant in the ground, waiting and waiting for that significant rain event, at which time it quickly springs to life, blooms and set seeds. And for us, we get the beautiful flowers as a memory of the rain that brought so much relief to a drought stricken area. For the month of June, we will continue our vegetation transects at Scenic Canyon from 7:30-11:30 am. Please bring plenty of water and come prepared to walk through rough terrain (long pants, long-sleeved shirts, comfortable hiking boots/shoes, sunscreen, and insect repellant). We provide the equipment and books, but it is helpful if you can bring a backpack in which to help carry materials. If you have any questions, please contact Jayne Neal (210-3729124, or Wendy Leonard (210-372 -9124, Looking forward to seeing you in the field! Thurs. June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 7:30am-11:30am Vegetation Richness Survey Meet at Grey Inn, 19010 Scenic Loop Rd. We park at Grey Moss Inn and work across the street at Scenic Canyon Natural Area. Approved for Volunteer Service Hours.

River Walk Garden Workday Second Friday of every month: 9 a.m.—1 p.m. Volunteers are needed to cut, trim, and plant at the San Antonio River Walk Garden. Bring cutting tools such as shears, rakes, and clippers and also gloves and water for this workday. This is an AAMN project at the corner of Aubrey and Old Guilbeau on the Riverwalk. Lan Eng (830) 980-2300 or

Vol. 15, No. 6—June, 2011

Class 19 Cal Eichler 210-828-0833

San Antonio River Mission Reach Public Tour Sat, June 18, 10am & 11 am Roosevelt Park, 331 Roosevelt Avenue, San Antonio, Tx (map)

Class 20 Suzanne Benavides & Palani Whiting Class 21 Nancy Brown & Wendy Thornton

Guided nature tours of Phase 1 will be held on the third Saturday of each month at 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Tours will begin at Roosevelt Park in the small pavilion by the river and basketball courts and will last approximately 45 minutes. For more information about the guided hikes, contact (210) 227-1373.

Class 22 Linda Painter Darst & Jamie Daily

Approved for AT/VSH If Assisting

Class 24 John Wolcott & Susan Hunnicutt

Hot Tub Naturalist by Anton Hajek May was an interesting month. It was hot, it was cold , it was windy, and (thank you Lord) it was wet. At least one day we all had a good rain about 1.5 inches. And it fell well, as the tanks did not rise but the cracked earth surface closed up. Most evening are coolish. Sitting in the hot tub has been wonderful...except...there are now mosquitoes! Well I have cannon balls that burn mosquito repellent The hot tub took a trip to Mission San Jose to welcome John Luhan as the new superintendent. The federal government has a large presence at the missions. And there was an impressive appearance of partner and politicians. Unfortunately Hajek Family day has gone by the wayside. On Sundays we'd roam around. The San Jose visitor center needs to be enjoyed. The cookies were good.

Class 23 Steve Guerrant & Gary Trede

Class 25 & State Representative Ron Tullius 210-739-2566

Class 26 Dwight Henderson 210-496-5934 Class 27 David Reichert & Evelyn Penrod Class 28 Joe Novy & Phil Minor


Cibolo Nature Center, 140 City Park Road, Boerne, Tx (map) Workday Sat, June 11, 9am – 12pm, Bring family and friends to spend the morning pulling weeds, picking up trash and other to -do projects to help keep the CNC beautiful. Meet at the pavilion at 9 for your assignments. Approved for Volunteer Service Hours Project Wild Workshop, Sat, June 18, 9am – 4pm Learn how to teach young people about ecology and wildlife using fun, hands-on educational activities. During the six-hour training, workshop participants will sample activities and receive a curriculum and activity guide. Fees free for Title I teachers; $15 for all others; preregistration required. For info, contact or 830-249-4616. Approved for Advanced Training Rainwater Harvest Workshop, Sat, June 18, 9-12am Meet at the library and then visit the Kight installation. John Kight, engineer and rainwater catchment owner gives the latest technological information. Learn about design and materials! The Kight home with no well or outside water source is in a traditional development. Their system comfortably supplies delicious water for all household and landscape needs. Members $25/person; nonmembers $35. Pre-registration required. Call 830-249-4616. Limited to 20. Approved for Advanced Training

June 2011 Newsletter  

Newsletter for AAMN June 2011