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Prairie Notes are monthly photo/journal observations from Tandy Hills Natural Area by Founder/Director, Don Young. They include field reports, flora and fauna sightings, and more, mixed with a scoop of dry humor and a bit of philosophy. They are available free to all who get on the FOTHNA email list.

Winter Solstice, 2010

Prairie Notes:
December 21, 2010

Year-end Round-up

1) 2010: A year to remember
2) Volunteers of note
3) Prairie Fest UPDATE
4) Daily dose of green
5) Beware the Tree-huggers!
6) Prairie Proverb

1)
As another Winter Solstice rolls around, I'm reminded of how exceptional a year 2010 was for Mother Nature. Here at Tandy Hills Natural Area, "just right" amounts of sunshine and rain enabled both Spring wildflowers and Summer grasses to reach their highest potential. For an encore, Ms. Nature surprised us with an upside down Autumn. As I write this on the eve of Winter, December 20, the temperature is 82 degrees. What a wild year!

Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area also had a memorable year. To wit:

  • FOTHNA celebrated the 50th Anniversary of Tandy Hills Natural Area.
  • FOTHNA sponsored the First Annual Manly Men & Wild Women hike.
  • FOTHNA sponsored the 2nd Annual Brush Bash.
  • FOTHNA sponsored Trout Lily walks with Master Naturalists, Jeff Quayle and Jim Varnum.
  • FOTHNA was the recipient of a 5% Day donation from Whole Foods Market raising $2,900.
  • FOTHNA finalized an official "Support" agreement with the City of Fort Worth.
  • The City of Fort Worth cable TV channel filmed and broadcast a profile of THNA, A Walk on the Prairie,
  • FOTHNA sponsored the 5th Annual Prairie Fest that exceeded all previous records in attendance and fund-raising.
  • KERA-TV filmed and broadcast a segment of Art & Seek at Prairie Fest.
  • Prairie Fest was awarded the 2010 Staff Choice: Best Outdoor Cultural Event in Tarrant County by the Fort Worth Weekly.
  • Don Young, Director of FOTHNA, was awarded the 2010 Reader's Choice: Best Individual Defender of the Environment by the FW Weekly.
  • FOTHNA co-sponsored a birding expedition at THNA led by Tom Stevens.
  • FOTHNA issued 12 monthly Prairie Notes to keep you abreast of seasonal developments at THNA.

Not a bad year for a small group of nature mystics. We must be doing something right. If you agree, please consider making a tax deductible donation to Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area.

FOTHNA is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation operated by volunteers. Our primary purpose is to promote the conservation and restoration of Tandy Hills Natural Area. We partner with the City of Fort Worth in enacting the Master Plan for the restoration of THNA. We also sponsor various educational and recreational events throughout the year to help increase public awareness of THNA and other green spaces. In 2011, we are planning to sponsor FWISD field trips to THNA.

You support of Friends of Tandy Hills Natural Area helps insure that this rare, remaining example of native prairie stays protected for present and future generations. Donations via credit card can be easily and securely made at Paypal. Click the DONATE button, HERE.

Thanks for your generous support.

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Mid-December, 2010, on the Tandy Hills prairie was on the mild side.

2)
The above mentioned accomplishments of FOTHNA were made possible by a core group of intelligent, hard-working and passionate volunteers. I hope their dedication will inspire you to step up and help us keep Tandy Hills, "like it was."

Jenny Conn, Tonya Ferguson, Gigi Goesling, Tim Hall, Phil Hennen, Jenny Jopling, JIm Marshall, Jan Upchurch and Debora Young have been indispensable to the success of FOTHNA and Prairie Fest.

3)
Speaking of volunteers, The 6th Annual Prairie Fest train is on track and moving forward. If you haven't already, please sign up to volunteer at the Best Outdoor Festival in Tarrant County!

EXHIBITORS: Take advantage of our Early Bird Special. Secure your reservation at a big discount until the end of December. Register, HERE.

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4)
New York Times columnist, Jane Brody, has penned an enlightening essay titled, Head Out for a Daily Dose of Green Space. If you are feeling guilty for not "getting out" more lately, I prescribe you promptly read this essay and get outside, asap.

5)
FOTHNA and Prairie Fest are founded on the principle of protecting the natural world - of inspiring people to live lightly on the Earth and care for creation in a multitude of ways. Like you, we believe that embracing and practicing these principles is life-affirming and beneficial to ourselves and everyone else.

Whom, you may ask, could possibly disapprove such basic human impulses?

Amazingly, a well-funded coalition of Christian conservatives strongly disapproves. They have just issued a 12-part DVD series titled, Resisting the Green Dragon, that details "the dangers of environmentalism." Check out this quote from the group spokesman:

"One of the greatest threats to society and the church today is the multi-faceted environmentalist movement. There isn't an aspect of life that it doesn't seek to force into its own mold."

If that is true, then Prairie Fest must be the local portal to Hell. I think not. Read a shocking report on this outrageous phenomenon in the December issue Mother Jones.

6)
"I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station through which God speaks to us every day, if we will only tune in."
-George Washington Carver, 1930

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