Monthly Meetings & Guest Speaker
Date: Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Zoom –
Meeting ID: TBA
Guest Speaker: Dr. Camelia Maier, Topic Plant Based Pollinators
Interesting speakers are lined up for the 2021-22 year
Tuesday, November 2, 2021 – Rachel Richter, Topic The Dynamics of Urban Ecosystems
Tuesday, January 4, 2022 – Matt Grubisich, Garland Parks and Recreation Department and A Walk with the Parks Director
Tuesday, February 1, 2022 – Tom Frey, History of Spring Creek Preserve
Tuesday, March 1, 2022 – Ignasio Pujana, Paleontologist – Fossils Around Spring Creek
Tuesday, April 5, 2022 – Carol Clark, Spring Creek Wildflowers
Have you noticed our Bluebird nest boxes?
We have them on the prairie at 1787 Holford and in other meadows throughout the Preserve. The Eastern Bluebird is a cavity nester and cavity nesters throughout North America need our help with nest boxes because of a shortage of natural cavities. Thanks to building and installation projects by the North Texas Master Naturalists and several energetic Scouts, we have a good selection of locations and dwellings for Bluebirds and other species that need a spot to build their nest.
But as with many things in life, the concept of just putting them out and they will come is not enough. They need maintenance. Our own Society Treasurer, Marvin Rogers, has monitored and maintained the nests since the first boxes were installed in 2007. Maintenance involves cleaning out each box during the winter, monitoring for wasp nests ant invasions, checking for eggs and baby chicks without disturbing them, and more.
Here is a report on this summer nest activity from Marvin:
The summer of 2021 for fledging birds has been a good one. We had 4 Carolina Chickadees fledge from Box 10 at 1787 Holford Road on about April 24. At Box 3, we had 4 Bluebirds fledge about May first. Another box had 5 eggs in it, but too long; something happened and they didn’t hatch. I removed the nest and eggs on June 19.
At 1770 Holford Road, in the meadow, we had 4 Bluebirds fledge from the ‘East’ Nest box about May 15. From the behavior of ‘defending of the nest’, I believe the same Bluebird parents moved to the West Nest box and fledged 4 bluebirds about June 26. I think they used the same nest again and fledged four more bluebirds. This is the latest fledging in the summer of any birds that I recall. It will be near the middle of August when they fledge. I believe it will be the third brood this pair of Bluebirds has produced. They are always on the snag near the nest. As I carefully check the nests, I have felt the wind on my neck, as they did their ‘fly-by’. They are merely doing what good parents do: protecting their babies! Once there are eggs in the nest, I skip a week or two, giving them some privacy and peace of mind.
I have started checking the 3 new nest boxes near the Mapleridge Road entrance. Hopefully we will have some good news from them next year.
Summary: four nests of Bluebirds for 16 young birds and 4 new Carolina Chickadees.
We have had fewer wasp nests in the nest boxes this year. Maybe the hard freezes of last February helped us. I have had to remove some paper-wasp nests and also two mud-dauber nests. Also, incursions from ants have been fewer. If ants are present, I spray and also apply a ring of grease or Vaseline around each post as a deterrent.
It is indeed an honor and pleasure that I have fallen in to, to monitor these nest boxes each week. I will continue to monitor through September; if nothing else to help keep the wasps and ants on the move!
IMPORTANT NOTE: Please do not go near the nest boxes or try to look into them. Only observe them from a distance using your binoculars.
11th Annual Christmas is for the Birds
Date: Saturday, December 4, 2021
Time: 10-11:30 a.m.
Location: 1787 Holford
More information later, but this is a fun event for pre-school and elementary-school children. We help them make bird feeders out of peanut butter, bird seed, and pine cones and then hang the feeders on Preserve trees. We plan short nature hikes. And the kids can run and yell in their outside voices and get smeary with peanut butter. They love it.
4th Sunday Nature Walks
September 26, 2021 : Rick & Lisa Travis
Time: 2:00 p.m. – 3:30
Location: 1787 Holford
Rick and Lisa Travis will lead us into the cool, shady forest on a Fall Tree Walk, looking at both the key native trees and any invasive species we run across.
Lisa is a happily retired teacher and member of the Blackland Prairie Texas Master Naturalist chapter. She is a nature educator at the Heard Sanctuary, a trail guide at LLELA, and a Project WILD trainer/facilitator. Lisa is an iNaturalist fanatic, with over 10,000 observations, and over 15,000 identifications made for others. She is interested in all things nature, but her main focus is on plants, and especially trees
- Sunday, October 24, 2021. Leader Dr. Tiffany Lipsett – A Family Nature Hike
- Sunday, November 28, 2021. Leader: Rich Jaynes – Grasses in the Park Preserve.
- Sunday, December 26, 2021. No walk: See January 1.
- Saturday, January 1, 2022. We know it’s not Sunday, but it’s the New Year Walk. More to come.
- Sunday, January 23, 2022. Leader: Rob Kaaa – Invasive Plants in the Forest
- Sunday, February 27, 2022. Leader: Tom Frey and others – 29th Annual Trout Lily Walk
- Sunday, March 27, 2022. Leader: Ignasio Pujana – Fossil Hunting and the UTD Drone team
- Sunday, April 24, 2022. Leader: Matt Grubisich – Trees of Spring Creek Preserve
- Sunday, May 22, 2022. Leader: Carol Clark – Spring Creek Wildflowers
Health Benefits from Forests
Most of us sense that taking a walk in a forest is good for us. Now, research shows that visiting a forest has real, quantifiable health benefits, both mental and physical. Even five minutes around trees or in green spaces may improve health. Think of it as a prescription with no negative side effects that is also free.
Exposure to forest and trees:
- Boosts the immune system
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces stress
- Improves mood
- Increases ability to focus, even in children with ADHD
- Accelerates recovery from surgery or illness
- Increases energy level
- Improves sleep
*Source: NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation
Monthly Work Sessions
Saturday October 9
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 11:00
Location: 1770 Holford
We will break into teams and each team will have a knowledgeable volunteer so you know exactly what to do. For this event, it is no problem staying 6 feet apart – there is plenty of space. It will make you feel like a new person to get out in the middle of nature and help the Preserve. BRING WATER. Wear heavy work gloves, long pants, protective eye-wear, and sturdy shoes (no sandals) for your protection from poison ivy and thorns. If you have them, bring loppers and/or small tree saws. And, don’t forget, face masks are required.
All participants and the parents of minors must sign our Liability Waiver. All minors 16 yrs. and younger must be accompanied by an adult. For Master Naturalists, normally this counts as Volunteer Hours on the Preservation Society for Spring Creek Forest project, but check your MN chapter current guideline
- Saturday, November 6, 2021
- Saturday, December 11, 2021
- Saturday, January 8, 2022
- Saturday, February 5, 2022
- Saturday, March 5, 2022
- Saturday, April 9, 2022
- Saturday, May 7, 2022
Collections From The Field
An art project encourages people of all ages to get outside and create art inspired by Spring Creek Preserve. While exploring the trails at the preserve, find inspiration in nature and create art using any medium. Then submit your art by either posting a photo or document of your art on social media with the tag #collectionsfromthefield or emailing a photo or document of your art to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information about weekly prompts and to view the curated gallery, go to CollectionsFromTheField.com and follow the project on Facebook (Facebook.com/collectionsfromthefield) or Instagram (Instagram.com/collectionsfromthefield).
Initiated by Stephanie Hanson, a Garland resident and college senior, Collections From The Field provides the opportunity to find new ways to look at the world. Hanson says, “This project hopes to offer the idea that sometimes building a relationship with the landscape through art is a first step towards creating an ethic of care that will help us tackle the environmental issues we face today.”
Please follow all CDC recommendations and guidelines, as well as City of Garland regulations regarding visiting city parks and protected lands.
Do you have suggestions? If you have ideas for speakers or topics for future programs, please email your suggestions to Becky Sans, email@example.com.
Make a donation! Your donation helps the all-volunteer Preservation Society for Spring Creek Forest offer public lectures, conduct habitat management workdays, and offer public nature walks. Please mail your tax-deductible donation to: Preservation Society for Spring Creek Forest, Attn: Treasurer, P.O. Box 450176, Garland, TX 75045-0176