Every year the Native Plant Society of Texas recognizes organizations and individuals that support its mission and further its charge — and while we will not have an in-person annual meeting in this year of COVID, we continue to honor their work in our virtual, on-line 2020 symposium which will be held during the week of Oct. 18, with the awards ceremony held on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. We welcome our members and the public to attend this presentation and to reach out and personally thank these fine folks for their work and passion. Please register if you plan to attend. After registration you will receive an email with instructions.
The Native Star award is given for a specific act of conservation or public service in the field of Texas native plants. This year’s recipient is the Cemex Corporation for the creation of the Balcones Dry Comal Creek and Wildlife Habitat Center located in New Braunfels. This site has a quarter-acre high-fenced native plant garden. While focusing on Hill Country plants, it offers a plethora of unusual plants found in South and West Texas as well. Other offerings include both a roadside garden, complete with a barrow-ditch and a limestone road cut; a twenty-acre restored prairie; formal native plantings around a conference center; and a food garden which produces vegetables for various non-profits and is tended to by special needs adults.
The Digital Media award, established in 2014, recognizes outstanding digital publications featuring Texas native plants. This year we are honored to award this to Don Young for Prairie Notes, a monthly web journal published since 2004 which focuses on field reports of the flora and fauna found in the Tandy Hills area of Fort Worth, TX. A wealth of information and photos are found in this little corner of the ‘net, with all the past journals archived for your reading pleasure and can be found at https://www.tandyhills.org/notes.
Mary Jo Laughlin and Eula Whitehouse Memorial
One of our most recently created awards, now in its third year, this award celebrates visual arts that illustrates, interprets or promotes Texas native plants. Diana Kersey is this year’s recipient for her ceramic installation, The Riparian Edge, depicting native flora and fauna on the Oxbow Office Towers located in San Antonio. Well worth the visit and another feather in San Antonio’s hat, her installation can be seen 24/7 at 1803 Broadway Street in San Antonio. Stop by, have a street taco, and look up in awe.
Shirley Lusk Memorial
Another one of our recently created awards, the Shirley Lusk Memorial, honors a citizen scientist for collecting and preserving Texas native plants for public education by providing outstanding contribution of herbarium voucher specimens. Jeff Quayle is recognized this year for his collection of over 1000 herbarium specimens stored at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas in Fort Worth. These squished plants become part of our natural heritage history and are invaluable resource material for future budding neophytes as well as seasoned botanist alike.
Carroll Abbott Memorial
Marcy Scott is this year’s awardee for the Carroll Abbott Memorial Award, which is named after our founder, and recognizes writing in the popular vein on Texas native plants. Her work, Hummingbird Plants of the Southwest (Rio Nuevo Publishers, 2015), is a favorite of both gardeners and hummingbirds throughout the Southwest, and includes 120 plant species used to attract hummingbirds to your garden.
Donovan Stewart Correll Memorial
This year the Donovan Stewart Correll Memorial award is given to Michael Powell PhD, Shirley Powell, and Richard Worthington PhD, for their recently published book Flowering Plants of the Trans-Pecos and Adjacent Areas (BRIT Press, 2018). This tome covers the native and naturalized plant species which occur in the Trans-Pecos, an area dominated by the Chihuahuan Desert. Three lifetimes of field work, herbarium study, and love of plants went into this tome and will surely be well used for decades to come.
Nancy Benedict Memorial
The Nancy Benedict Memorial Award is given to a person for an act of conservation or public service in the field of Texas native plants. This year’s recipient is Charles Newsom for leading and organizing volunteer efforts to remove invasive plants from the Berry Springs Park and Preserve in Georgetown. This ongoing effort, which has spanned several years, has increased the native plant diversity, improved wildlife habitat, and greatly improved the aesthetic beauty of Berry Springs Park and Preserve for our human eyes.
Lynn Lowrey Memorial
The Lynn Lowrey Memorial Award is given to an individual for horticultural achievement in the field of Texas native plants. Sean Watson, who previously won this award for propagating rare and endangered plants of Texas, is again this year’s awardee for his continued excellence in propagation and promotion of native plants and the introduction of native plants into the nursery trade, most notably Hunnemannia fumariifolia, the Mexican mountain poppy.
Charles Weedle Memorial
James P. Muir is presented with the Charles Weedle Memorial Award this year, which is given for lifetime achievement in the field of Texas native plants. James receives this award for his work at Texas A&M, including utilizing native species as forage; converting Bermuda grass pasture to native plants; numerous publications and presentations relaying the story of native plants and their benefits to livestock production in concert with conservation; and his passion inspiring students throughout his tenure.