February 2024 Announcements

Preservation Society
for Spring Creek Forest
Preserve, Educate, Collaborate

February 2024

Speaker Series –
Carol Garrison – Aquatic Macro Invertebrates
Date: Tuesday, February 6, 2024
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Zoom

Riparian areas like Spring Creek Forest Preserve are hosts to an amazing variety of aquatic macro invertebrates.  Join Carol as she introduces you to the smaller residents of this habitat and their amazing diversity of adaptations uniquely suited for the aquatic environment.

Carol is a 3rd generation native Texan and has been a North Texas Master Naturalist since 2015.  She recently moved to Georgia and is an environmental educator and nature center docent at the Fayette Environmental Education Center, a project of the Southern Conservation Trust.  She is a certified Bat Ambassador with Bat Conservation International and a Certified Interpretive Guide through the National Association of Interpreters. Carol is the winner of the 2023 Excellence in Environmental Excellence award from the Texas Association for Environmental Education.  When she’s not working, she is exploring all the nature areas in Southern Georgia and making observations for iNaturalist along the way. She surpassed 10K observations last year!

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

Meeting ID: 891 8700 2517
Passcode: 212786

Aquatic macro invertebrate by Carol Garrison


Monthly Work Session
DateFebruary 10, 2024
Time: 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Location: 1770 Holford

We will work on the Trout Lily Trail so it will look great for our 31st annual Trout Lily Walk that comes up on February 25.
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.


Exciting News –
Spring Creek Forest Preserve induction in the national Old-Growth Forest Network

DateSaturdayFebruary 24, 2024
Time 1:00 – 1:45 p.m.
Location: 1770 Holford Road
The ceremony will be followed by a Members/VIPs walk through the Forest.

This event is a first-of-its-kind distinction. Representatives from the Old-Growth Forest Network (OGFN) will officially induct the Spring Creek Forest Preserve into the national network which celebrates our oldest protected and publicly accessible forests.
Spring Creek Forest Preserve will be the first forest in Dallas County to be included in the OGFN and only the second in Texas. OGFN is a nonprofit working to connect people with nature by creating a national network of protected, publicly accessible forests and a network of people to protect them.

          Join us at 1:00 when the Spring Creek Forest Preserve is inducted into the Old Growth Forest Network. Then, at approximately 2:00 p.m., we invite you to join Society Members and VIPS for a walk through the Lee F. Jackson Spring Creek Forest Preserve to see the Trout lilies and other parts of our magnificent forest.

“The Preservation Society for Spring Creek Forest is pleased to see the multi-decade collaborative efforts of the City of Garland and Dallas County, along with researchers and students, non-profits, and local naturalists to study and protect the forest and prairies of Spring Creek Forest Preserve, have resulted in the Spring Creek Forest Preserve-Spring Creek Greenbelt being officially designated as a part of the Old-Growth Forest Network”, said David Parrish, President of the Preservation Society for Spring Creek Forest.

Spring Creek Forest Preserve contains old-growth hardwood bottomland forest and native prairie areas along Spring Creek which are a haven of towering trees and unusual wildflowers. Scientists, conservationists, and naturalists have studied this forest community and determined it is one the few remaining old growth forests in the Blackland Prairie eco-zone of north central Texas.

The Spring Creek Forest Preserve is protected as a biological treasure used for scientific studies and natural enjoyment. The Preserve consists of three parcels of land totaling 102 acres of the larger Spring Creek Greenbelt. Old growth forest coverage varies from one third to two thirds of each tract with the balance in regenerating forest and prairie grass communities.

Nick Sanchez, Network Manager for OGFN remarks, “We’re honored to recognize this forest and the critical partnerships between Dallas County, City of Garland, The Preservation Society for Spring Creek Forest and the many individuals who continue to work hard to protect, care for and educate about this special place.”

Spring Creek Forest Preserve will join Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge as one of only two OGFN forests in Texas to date. Out of 254 counties in Texas, roughly 119 are considered capable of supporting forests, based on the U.S.Forest Service map.

Working with volunteers across the country, OGFN’s goal is to identify and ensure the preservation and recognition of at least one forest in every county in the United States that can sustain a forest, and thereby celebrate our nation’s oldest forests. Founded in 2012 by Dr. Joan Maloof, OGFN has recognized more than 200 forests in 36 states. A full list and map of OGFN Network forests may be viewed at www.oldgrowthforest.net.

We hope to see you!

Spring Creek and Forest by Dana Wilson


The 31st Annual Trout Lily Walk –
Special 2-day event

This year, because the Preserve is being honored by joining the national Old Growth Forest Network (see above), the Trout Lily Trail Walk will be a 2-day event. Come either day anytime between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. and follow the Trout lily stations down into the forest, along the creek, and up to the little meadow.

Saturday, February 24, 2024 or
SundayFebruary 25, 2024
Time: Anytime between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m.
Location: 1770 Holford

Tom Frey, regionally acclaimed naturalist and Society mentor will be with us again for the 31st annual Trout Lily Walk. Stroll on our trails to find Tom at the Trout lily field. Trout lilies are one of the first plants to flower in the spring. The tiny flowers are only in bloom from about mid-February through mid-March. Then, they disappear until next year.

Walk through the Trout lily fields, down to the creek, and up to the meadow. We always have new information about our Preserve and its ecology as you walk through our fabulous Preserve meeting regional experts.

  • Come on either Saturday or Sunday, February 24 or 25, any time between 2:00 and 3:00 p.m.
  • When you arrive, volunteers at the pavilion will welcome you and give you introductory information. Then, we will send you along the clearly marked trail to the Trout lily field. Tom Frey, our adviser, mentor, and friend will be at the Trout lily field.
  • After you have seen the lilies and talked to Tom, you will walk along to the next marked spot, where we will have another knowledgeable naturalist that will tell you about the significance of that area of the Preserve. The volunteer naturalists will be at several stations along the trail from 2:00 until the last walkers go through.
  • This format helps solve the problem of so many folks in line on the walk that they can’t hear the information. It also allows folks to go at their own pace rather than having to follow a group; no one gets impatient waiting for others to catch up and each can spend as much time at a station as they want. Some like to spend a lot of time taking photos and discussing the forest. Others like to hear just a little bit and then move on. With this walk format, it is your choice.

We hope to see you there!

Society Members, we apologize there is no Trout lily walk exclusively for members this year since we decided to plan the induction into the Old Growth Forest Network on Saturday. We so hope we will see you at the ceremony on Saturday at 1:00.


March 2024

Speaker Series –
Tina Rust – How to Map Trails using GPS
Date: Tuesday, March 5, 2024
Time: 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Location: Zoom

In November 2020, the Society sought volunteers to help map the park trails. David Parrish took the lead, collecting GPS points along most of the trail network; while Tina Rust, a Texas Master Naturalist and GIS analyst, then utilized these points in ArcGIS to begin creating a map for park visitors.  Subsequent site visits were conducted to gather and incorporate landmarks such as picnic tables, benches, and parking areas. Through collaborative editing sessions with Dana Wilson and Society members, a full-color trail map was developed and added to the website. Go to our website, springcreekforest.org, Maps page, to see the result.

Tina and David will share their insights on the trail mapping process at Spring Creek Forest Preserve and offer valuable ideas that can be adopted by other parks.  Tina will also lead our 4th Sunday walk at Spring Creek Park Preserve, 1787 Holford Rd, on Sunday, March 24.

Tina, a certified GIS Professional, Archaeologist, and Texas Master Naturalist, possesses a deep passion for merging her expertise in fieldwork, mapping, and databases. This passion found a perfect outlet in the project of mapping nature trails at Spring Creek Preserve.  She is dedicated to nurturing a shared love for nature and committed to ensuring that others also find the same joy and fulfillment in connecting with the natural world.

Note: Also on March 5, Society Members that attend the Zoom meeting will vote on incoming Executive Committee members.

Trail map created by Tina Rust


Special Garland Cultural Arts Event
Night at the Museum: Gallery Walk

Including display of artwork by Anne Weary

Date: March 8, 2024
Time:  5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Location: Granville Arts Center

Anne Weary grew up living in what was then a very rural part of Garland. Her father owned quite a bit of land along Holford Road between Arapaho Road and what is now George Bush Tollway. She rode her horse, they had a few cattle, and their historic house had been built in 1936. She loved to draw the creek, forest and prairie adjacent to their house . That forest and prairie is now our Preserve. She is a well-known artist who still loves to draw what she sees in nature. You can meet Anne at her display on March 8.

The Garland Night at the Museum program is a Gallery walk around Downtown Garland’s newly designated Bankhead Cultural Arts District. Check in for the free event at the Garland Landmark Museum, 393 N. Sixth Street, Garland.

At the Landmark, there will be an exclusive showing of a David Bates original sculpture.  David Bates is a nationally acclaimed artist who grew up in Garland and attended Garland High School. Best known for his paintings on canvas or panel, Bates is also prolific in sculpture and works on paper. More than forty museums across the country have work by Bates in their permanent collections.

The gallery shows will continue (easy walking instructions will be provided) at Ninth Street Gallery, owned by Michelle Noah, and Epiphany Gallery, owned by Leslie Montena.  Attendees can experience a ‘pop-up gallery’ at 716 Main Street, formerly a church and Williams Funeral Home, featuring a projection exhibit by Garland-based artist, Trayc Claybrook.

Finally, Anne Weary will be celebrating her exhibit opening at the Granville Arts Center.  As a child and young woman, Anne’s summer residence was Casa del Sol, her family ranch in what is now the Spring Creek Forest and Park Preserve. She honed her art by drawing the beautiful nature that surrounded her.  Now, Anne is a professional artist, having graduated from the oldest art school in the United States, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Her entire life is a perpetual love affair with the trees and creatures of her forests.

Night at the Museum: Gallery Walk is free and open to the public.



Monthly Work Session –
6th Annual Death to Privet work session

DateSaturdayMarch 9, 2024
Time: 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Location: 1787 Holford

Happily, the part of the Preserve at 1787 Holford is nearly clear of privet. So, why do we have our Death to Privet there every year? Because when there used to be a lot of privet there, the bushes dropped thousands of pretty red berries. The seeds in those berries don’t all start growing at the same time. Some will stay dormant for several years before they put out roots and a stalk. Also, birds eat the berries from other areas and drop the seeds where we don’t want them. So every year, we search the area for newly arrived plants.

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 Nature Walk –
Tina Rust – Hands-on with GPS Trail Mapping
DateSundayMarch 24, 2024
Time: 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.
Location: 1787 Holford

Tina Rust will be our leader onto the prairie and forest trails, giving us hands-on how-tos of mapping trails using GPS. She directed other volunteers such as David Parrish on how to mark the trail on their iPhone as they walked. She could then transfer the data and create the map we have on our website today. See springcreekforest.com and go to the Maps page.

Note that you don’t have to be interested in GPS mapping to enjoy a walk in the Preserve with a group of other nature lovers. Come on and walk with us!

Bluebirds in our Preserve
By Becky Sans, 2024

The Eastern Bluebird, Sialia sialisnests only in North America, including the eastern two thirds of Texas, making observation of these jewels possible here in the DFW metroplex! The male has bright blue feathering, while the female’s coloring, having some blue tinges, is more drab. They both have rusty chests and white underparts. The male measures 6 ½ to 7 ½ inches. The female is slightly smaller.Gardeners especially like this little bird because of their diet consisting primarily of insects on the ground – beetles, grasshoppers, and caterpillars – during the spring, summer, and early fall, and a variety of berries – holly, juniper, and mistletoe – during the winter.Present year-round, mating begins in February and nesting in March through July.

Normally Bluebirds nest in natural forest tree cavities such as old woodpecker holes, but urban expansion and the resulting deforestation has greatly reduced these opportunities.Today, manmade nest boxes are often installed to provide this colorful species a second chance. Suitable nest box sites are open areas such as meadows and grasslands. An additional bonus for the birds is afternoon shading from the hot summer sun. Bluebirds require about ¾ acre to provide sufficient food for their families. For best results, nest boxes are installed in early fall. Furthermore, all pesticide use, especially within a ½ mile radius of any nesting birds, is/should be prohibited. In the 1950s, the use of the pesticide DDT almost extirpated the Bluebirds and eagles. Finally, predator monitoring is another best practice around nest boxes. House Sparrows and European Starling are small enough to access the nests, killing the nesting birds and destroying eggs. Snakes, raccoons, opossums, and cats also will invade a nest box, although adding a baffle under the box will prevent some animals from entering the next.

For centuries the Navajo Indians and Early American settlers believed Bluebirds symbolized  hope, renewal, and good fortune. These beliefs persist among the American population today. The thrill of seeing this little blue symbol of luck and good fortune remains for a lifetime. I saw my first Bluebird 38 years ago and remember it like it was yesterday. Whichever way you choose to celebrate Bluebirds – building nest boxes, refraining from pesticide use, or watching with binoculars – know you are one of millions.

Throughout the spring and summer, Spring Creek Preserve usually has several occupied nest boxes watched over by Marvin Rogers, our expert Bluebird monitor. By 2023, the Society had approved the installation of 10 nest boxes in the prairie and meadow habitats with the help of volunteers and Scouts. They are primarily for the Eastern Bluebird, but both the Carolina Chickadee and the Carolina Wren also nest in them.

Please DO NOT disturb these nests. Please view any activity from afar using your binoculars.

Bluebird photo by Marvin Rogers

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 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.

April 2, 2024 – Stephanie Varnum – Native Orchids of Texas
May through August – Summer break
September 3, 2024 – Tyler Hedlund will be back to tell us about ticks.
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:
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.
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/

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