December 2023 Announcements

 

Preservation Society
for Spring Creek Forest
Preserve, Educate, Collaborate
(https://springcreekforest.org)
New look to our web site –
springcreekforest.org

Not only a new look, but we also finally have online payment for membership or donation with credit or debit cards, or your PayPal account. Or, you can still download a membership form and send a check.
Many thanks to former executive committee member Becky Sans for all the hours she spent organizing and updating information before we were ready to hire the website design and development company, Xeara, owned by Lynn Stanphill. (See Xeara.com) Mr. Stanphill is teaching several of us volunteers how to do the editing on the site so the Society can save money by doing its own site maintenance.
Thank you!
North Texas Master Naturalist –

Big Chapter Project

Texas Master Naturalists share their talents in Spring Creek Forest Preserve

On November 4, 2023, Spring Creek Forest Preserve in Garland received the gift of 25 energetic North Texas Master Naturalists. Each volunteer gave three hours of volunteering to remove woody trees and shrubs encroaching on the beautiful limestone prairie, remove invasive privet and bush honeysuckle from the old-growth forest deep in the Preserve, and to rework our 30-year-old Wildscape garden. That is 75 hours of work accomplished in one morning!

Funds provided by the Master Naturalist program were used to purchase native plants and gardening supplies to enhance the Wildscape. The Preservation Society for Spring Creek Forest and the city of Garland Parks and Recreation department share their thanks for this remarkable gift of time and effort.

For over twenty years, Master Naturalists have been active in the Preserve in habitat management, education, and community outreach. Their efforts have made this public park a refuge of towering trees, birds and wildflowers, and miles of trails to be enjoyed by all.

North Texas Master Naturalist Volunteers

Judy and Henry Aschner spend time on the Wildscape

Crew on the prairie

Henry Aschner adding a new native plant to the Wildscape

 

Do you like Fireflies?
Of course! Who doesn’t love to see these creatures lighting up the summer evening. But to have them, you must start now by leaving your leaves in your beds. According to the Dallas Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas, “…fireflies overwinter in the leaf litter that accumulates in the fall. Disposing of leaf litter eliminates habitat, food sources, and collateral damage may include the discard of other insect life such as praying mantis egg cases.” Please don’t destroy your leaves. Leave them on the ground in your flower beds all winter. As it warms in the spring, you might be rewarded with your own fireflies.

 

December 2023

Christmas is for the Birds – 13th Annual
Date: Saturday, December 2, 2023
Location: 1787 Holford
Time: 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.

This is a super-fun event for pre-school or elementary school children. Bring them to the Park Preserve where they make biodegradable bird feeders out of peanut butter and bird seed, then they hang the feeders in our forest. Yes, be prepared to get a bit messy.

  • Some folks make their own feeder treats at home and bring them to hang on the trees.
  • Biodegradable bird feeder ornaments must be hung with cotton yarn or string. The birds will use the string later for making their nests. Do not use metal, plastic, or fishing line for hangers. They are dangerous for birds and wildlife because they might ingest it and injure themselves. If you make bird feeder ornaments at home, please bring them to the park ready to hang.
  • Some examples of biodegradable bird feeders:
    • Pine cones coated in peanut butter and rolled in bird seed.
    • Strings of fresh or dried berries. (Use cotton string.)
    • Strings of non-buttered popcorn.(Use cotton string.)
See our website, springcreekforest.org Event page for more recipes.

____________________

Holiday Party for Society Members –
Date: Tuesday, December 5, 2023
Location: 5806 Firecrest Drive, Garland, TX
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.

No speaker in December, but for Society members only, a Holiday party at the home of Don and Barbara Baynham. Everyone bring a snack to share; drinks are provided. We relax, chat about nature, and tell stories.

If you are not yet a member, but would like to come to the party, call 972-495-3569 or send an email to Barbara_baynham2005@yahoo.com. We will gladly accept your membership form and payment (cash or check) at the party. Membership cost is still at our 1990 level – no inflation here – $20 for an individual, $25 for a family, $300 Lifetime.

____________________

Monthly Work Session
DateDecember 09, 2023
Time: 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Location: 1770 Holford Road

We will work on clearing a pretty little pocket prairie that is near the concrete path – taking out a few encroaching brush and trees, but also scattering some native prairie plant seeds.

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 repellent.
  • 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
December – no walk in December, but we make it up to you with a Start-Your-New-Year-Right Walk on January 1.

 

January 2024
Start-Your-New-Year-Right Nature Walk –
Date: Monday January 1, 2024
Time: 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Location: Halff Park at Ranger Drive
Start your new year with a refreshing walk in the Preserve. Your walk leader will be one of several folks who know their way around this wonderful section of our Preserve. The trail leading from Halff Park takes us through some of the biggest trees in the Preserve. This is also the most wild section. After walking a few yards into the forest, it is hard to believe that civilization is just a few steps away.
__
__________________Speaker Series –
Amy Martin, Author of Wild DFW
Date: Tuesday, January 2, 2024
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Zoom

Amy’s presentation, Wild DFW: Never See North Texas Nature the Same Way Again, is a photo-filled tour of 25 top nature spaces in North Texas from Amy Martin’s book Wild DFW: Explore the Amazing Nature Around Dallas-Fort Worth (Timber Press).

Author and naturalist Amy Martin nearly died four years ago from a severely broken neck. She learned to walk again by hiking natural trails. Those hikes are an integral part of Wild DFW. Hear her inspiring story woven with rhapsodic passages from the book. Learn how a little knowledge about natural history and ecology can transform your perception of North Texas nature.

Astounding color photos bring alive peak experiences from the 25 featured hiking adventures through hardwood bottomland forests and Eastern Cross Timbers, soaring limestone escarpments, lush wetlands, and rare remnants of Blackland and Fort Worth Prairies. Get to know a diverse community of volunteers working for nature.

A journalist and writer for over 40 years, Amy Martin is the author of several nature books. She is currently senior features writer for Green Source DFW. Martin sits on the Dallas County Open Space’s Trails and Preserves Program board and serves as state social media director for Native Prairies Association of Texas. For twelve years, she managed wildlife habitat rehabilitation on a private nature preserve in northeast Texas, including converting fifteen acres of pasture into tallgrass prairie. She is a certified Texas Master Naturalist with the North Texas chapter. Find her writings at Moonlady.com.

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Special Events –
Bird Walks with Reba
Dates: Saturday, January 13 and Sunday, January 14
Location: 1787 Holford Road
Time: 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.

Do you want to learn what birds spend the winter in Spring Creek Forest? Come for a morning walk and learn to identify some of our wintering birds. Reba recently returned from a “bucket list” trip to India to see the incredible birds in that part of the world. Ask her about the leech boots they got to wear!

  • Bring binoculars.
  • Reservations required: Limited to 10 people for each walk. Contact Reba at rcollins20@verizon.net to reserve a spot.
  • Dress for the weather. If it has been raining, rain boots may be appropriate.

Cedar Waxwing – A favorite bird that comes to Dallas for the winter

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Monthly Work Session
DateJanuary 13, 2024
Time: 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Location: Halff Park at Ranger Drive

Trail maintenance is due on the trails that lead from Halff Park. You might be lopping back overgrowth, toting off downed tree limbs, weed-whacking back grasses from the trail. Of course, picking up any trash you might see.

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.

____________________

4th Sunday Walk – Amy Martin
A Walk in the Wilds of Garland
DateJanuary 28, 2024
Time: 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Location: Halff Park at Ranger drive 

Amy Martin leads us from Halff Park down the Ranger Trail. Our own Spring Creek Forest Preserve is the first adventure described in Amy Martin’s book Wild DFW: Explore the Amazing Nature Around Dallas-Fort Worth (Timber Press). It is indeed an honor to be included this wonderful collection of nature walk stories. It also helps to bring new people to the Preserve. Sometimes folks live nearby but have never heard of Spring Creek Forest Preserve. Newcomers are always surprised to learn this special area has been here all along.

Amy will have books for sale at the walk on the 28th. Also, people that already own books can bring them to be autographed.

Plan your schedule around Spring Creek Preserve

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

  • 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.

February 6, 2024 – Carol Garrison, Aquatic Macro Invertebrates
March 5, 2024 – Tina Rust – How to Map Trails using GPS
April 2, 2024 – Stephanie Varnum – Native Orchids of Texas
May through August – Summer break
September 3, 2024 – Information coming soon
And more to come.

Monthly Work Sessions
Date: 2nd Saturday
Time: 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Location: Changes with the work that needs to be done. Check the Monthly Announcements, Facebook, or our website.
We break into teams and each team has a knowledgeable volunteer, so you know exactly what to do. You could be clearing trails, taking out invasive plants, opening up the prairies, even picking up trash.
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.
Upcoming Dates:
February 10, 2024, Location: 1770 Holford Drive
March 9, 2024, Location: 1787 Holford Drive
April 13, 2024, Location: Halff Park at Ranger Drive
May 11, 2024, Location: 1787 Holford Drive and includes a Bring Your Own Picnic

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.
February 25, 2024 – 1770 Holford – 31st Annual Trout Lily Walk, Leader Tom Frey
March 24, 2024 – Location TBA – Leader Tina Rust
April 28, 2024 – Location 1770 Holford – Leader Matt Stepanek
May through August – Summer break. It’s too hot!

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/

Special Events Coming Up –
Spring Creek Forest Preserve induction in the national organization, the Old Growth Forest Network.
          More information soon.

Members-Only Trout Lily Walk with Tom Frey
Date: Saturday, February 24
Location: 1770 Holford
Time: 2:00 – 3:30
More information soon.

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

barbara_baynham2005@yahoo.com

972-495-3569

Copyright © 2023 Preservation Society for Spring Creek Forest, All rights reserved.
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PO Box 450176

GarlandTX 75045-0176

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