April 2024 – Announcements

Preservation Society
for Spring Creek Forest
Preserve, Educate, Collaborate

Volunteers – We can’t do it without you!

The habitat management crew for the Preservation Society takes great pride in the strides we’ve made managing invasive species and woody encroachment on the prairies. Individual volunteers, small pop-up activities, 2nd Saturday workdays, and big organized projects (like the North Texas Master Naturalists’ Big Chapter Project) have allowed us to target problem areas and expand the range of our efforts. Our heartfelt thanks go out for the hundreds of volunteer hours and muscle that help protect the Preserve and make it a special treasure.

Gary Barton, Jim Shouse and Dana Wilson lay waste to invasive amur honeysuckle in the Preserve. Photo by Vince Hale

April 2024

Speaker Series –
Stephanie Varnum – Native Orchids of Texas
Date: Tuesday, April 2, 2024
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.


Fifty-four species of wild orchids grow in Texas, and they are found in all ten of the natural regions of the state. They range from moderately common to extremely rare and critically endangered. Stephanie will give an overview of the orchids of Texas, but focus on the seven non-photosynthetic, myco-heterotrophic orchids of the Hexalectris genus. These beautiful, uncommon orchids are not amenable to propagation so the only way to ensure their future is to protect their habitats.
Stephanie is a native of western Pennsylvania who has spent her adult years in Texas. Love of nature was highly valued in her family and being out in the woods and prairies, birdwatching, and gardening are her favorite pass-times. She enjoys sharing her love of nature with her adult children and six grandchildren and friends. She has volunteered in an annual botanical survey of native, non-photosynthetic orchids in Texas for 15 years and had been a member of the North Texas Master Naturalists for nearly 20 years.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89187002517?pwd=Ujc1UTEyVjNNbDhUUFJYMjFCV2lNdz09

Meeting ID: 891 8700 2517

Passcode: 212786


Full Eclipse in the skies of Dallas
A Once in a Lifetime Event
Date: Monday, April 8, 2024
Time: The moon starts to edge over the sun at about 12:20 p.m., reaches total coverage at 1:42 p.m., ends about 3:0o p.m.

If you want a quiet, open spot to enjoy the eclipse, come to one of the Preserve parking areas. We are not planning any organized event. However, we hope you can plan time to be outside to experience this rare phenomenon. But for a less quiet atmosphere, check out Garland’s Downtown Square Eclipse events – free eclipse glasses, restaurants to relax in, expert guidance, and more.
DO NOT look at the sun with bare eyes or even sunglasses. Your eyes could be damaged. Buy your certified eclipse glasses now. They are only a couple of dollars and they are available online or at many stores.____________________Monthly Work Session –
DateSaturdayApril 13, 2024
Time: 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Location: Halff Park at Ranger DriveTrail maintenance in among our tallest trees. Work to clear the trail so folks can easily walk through this wild part of the forest. We break into teams and each team has a knowledgeable volunteer, so you know exactly what to do.For last-minute information, especially if the weather is questionable, check our website or Facebook page for updates, including dates and locations which may change because of conditions. We don’t want anyone working in the forest or on the prairie if there is a chance of lightning strikes.

Safety Information:

  • BRING WATER and insect repellant.
  • Close-toed shoes are mandatory. Heavy work gloves, long pants, and protective eyewear are recommended for your protection from poison ivy and thorns.
  • If you have them, bring loppers and/or small tree saws. (No power tools.)
  • All participants and the parents of minors must sign our Liability Waiver.
  • Youth under 18 must be accompanied by an adult; no drop off/pick up of those under 18.
  • For Master Naturalists, this may count as Volunteer Hours on the Preservation Society for Spring Creek Forest project.


4th Sunday Nature Walk –
Matthew Stepanek –
A Photo Trek Through Nature’s Gallery
DateSundayApril 28, 2024
Time: 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Location: 1770 Holford


Matt will start the event at the pavilion, demonstrating and answering basic camera questions. Then he will lead us into the forest so you can get hands-on experience and tips for vibrant nature shots in a variety of locations.
Bring a camera, if possible; DSLR/full lens cameras would be preferred, but cell phones will work as well. Long pants and sturdy shoes are recommended.
Topics he will cover: general photography tips and tricks, cell phone photography, nature and wildlife photography, low-light photography, seasonal photography subjects, camera settings for different biomes, iNaturalist importance and use, game camera settings/use/placement, basic camouflage/blinds for photographers and game cameras, basic mammal/small animal tracking, nature photography ethics, nature photography safety.
Matthew is a DFW nature and wildlife photographer who worked in the photography field. He is an acting member of the North Texas Master Naturalist chapter photography committee. He enjoys backcountry hiking, backpacking, macro/telephoto photography, and exploring the rich biodiversity of various Texas ecoregions and biomes.

Matthew recently photographed this rarely seen spider at 1787 Holford. The spider, Pardosa deliculata, has only 40 observations in Texas, according to the citizen-science app iNaturalist (+1 in Louisiana and 1 in Mexico).

Dallas County Open Spaces –
Help create the Master Plan for the next few years
4 Dates and Locations Available
City Nature Challenge 2024

Observe species, photograph, post to iNaturalist, help DFW win Most observations, 2024
Dates: April 26 – 29, 2024
Location: Outside where there are plants and insects
          Join Texas Parks & Wildlife, Texas Master Naturalists, the Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, and others in a fun challenge to see which city of the world can document the most species.
It is easy to participate by either joining an event or making observations on your own. You must post your observations using the free citizen-science phone app iNaturalist. You just take a picture of a plant or animal, and the on-line community will help identify what species it is.
Any observation made during the four days of the event in the greater metropolitan area of each city will count towards the challenge.
Although the Society is not hosting a specific event, you can participate by exploring the life in your backyard, in your local park or on a field trip with your local naturalist group.

For more information on how to post to DFW, go to: https://tpwd.texas.gov/huntwild/wild/wildlife_diversity/texas_nature_trackers/naturechallenge/

May 2024

Monthly Work Session
plus Bring Your Own Picnic

DateSaturday, May 11, 2024
Time: 9:00 a.m. – noon
Location: 1787 Holford Drive


We do our splendid work on the prairie from 9 – 11 a.m. Then at 11, we meet at the picnic tables, each with your own brown bag or maybe your Roy Rogers or Avenger lunch pail. We eat our PBJs and apple slices surrounded not only by an amazing view, but great folks. Even if you can’t work on the prairie, come to the picnic!
We break into teams and each team has a knowledgeable volunteer, so you know exactly what to do.
For last-minute information, especially if the weather is questionable, check our website or Facebook page for updates, including dates and locations which may change because of conditions. We don’t want anyone working in the forest or on the prairie if there is a chance of lightning strikes.
July Special Event –
An Evening with Moths and Sam K
DateSaturday, July 20, 2024
Time: 8:30 p.m. until late
Location: 1770 Holford Drive

This family friendly activity event honoring International Moth Week is an opportunity to experience night at the Preserve. Most moths are nocturnal, so we set up several light sheets to attract moths and other night flying insects. Volunteers will be on hand to answer questions and help with identification.
Sam Kieschnick, Texas Parks and Wildlife Urban Wildlife Biologist for DFW, will be on hand with all his energy and expertise.


One of Sam’s favorite quotes by Bradley Miller: “Teaching a child not to step on a caterpillar is as valuable to the child as it is to the caterpillar.”


Bring water and a flashlight. Wear close-toed shoes!

Moth Night 2022 by Carol Garrison

Plan Ahead

Monthly Public Speaker Series:
Interesting speakers are lined up. Our meeting is usually on the 1st Tuesday of the month from September to April.

  • Meeting Time: 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Location:  currently meeting via Zoom call.
  • For Master Naturalists, this often counts as 1 hour of Advanced Training, but check the MN schedule to be sure.

May through August – Summer break
September 3, 2024 – Tyler Hedlund will be back to tell us about ticks.
Tuesday, October 1, 2024 – Nancy Wilson and Jay Przyborski, Natie Plant Society of Texas – NPSOT – Great native plants for your own yard

And more to come.

Monthly Work Sessions
Throughout June, July, and August, Work Sessions will be led by Dana Wilson at various times, dates, and locations. If you would like to be on Dana’s work team, please email her at danawilson59@yahoo.com.

Service Projects- Need a project for your organization, Gold Award, or Eagle Scout rank? Contact David Parrish, dparrish1953@yahoo.com.

4th Sunday Nature Walks
Time: 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
The locations of 4th-Sunday Nature Walks will vary throughout the Preserve depending on the subject of the walk. Be sure to check the latest announcements.
May through August – Summer break. It’s too hot!

Sunday, September 22, 2024 – Naturalists Jennifer Stuart and Aleena Figueroa will lead us. Nature Trekkers – Kids in the Forest
Sunday, October 27, 2024 – Plants in the Preserve that are great native plants for your own yard

For a fun walk on your own, try our Self-Guided Interpretive Trail at 1787 Holford Road that was created by the North Texas Master Naturalist chapter in Dallas. Follow the trail markers and read about the significance of the area on your iPhone or on the downloadable flyer. https://springcreekforest.org/interpretive-1787-holford-rd/

Executive Committee

The Executive Committee usually meets once a month. The meetings are open to the public. For information, please contact us at springcreekforestpreservation@gmail.com.

Become a Society member or donate
The Society’s only means of financial support is through memberships and donations. Membership has benefits such as Member-Only Nature walks and the annual Holiday Party. Your donation helps the all-volunteer Preservation Society for Spring Creek Forest offer public lectures, conduct habitat management workdays, and offer public nature walks. Support the Preserve today.
We have online payment for membership or donation using credit or debit cards, or your PayPal account. Or, you can still download a membership form and send a check.   Go to springcreekforest.org for more information.Monthly Announcements:
To subscribe please contact:  Barbara_Baynham2005@yahoo.com

General Preserve Information

The above activities are specific to the Preservation Society for Spring Creek Forest.
For general Preserve information, please call Garland Parks and Recreation Department, 972-205-2750.

Dog Policy
On-leash dogs are welcome in our Preserve. However, note that it is illegal to have off-leash pets in Garland parks. Please call 972-205-3570, option 1 to report off-leash animals. Also, please deposit pet waste bags in the trash bins in each parking lot. Do not leave bagged pet waste beside the trail.

Thank you for your support!
David Parrish, President
Ginny Wilcox, Secretary
Marvin Rogers, Treasurer

Barbara Baynham, Newsletter

And the rest of the Preservation Society for Spring Creek Forest Executive Committee