Upcoming Activities …

How Wildlife Survives in the City

Tuesday, June 15, 7pm via ZOOM

It’s not easy to be a wild animal living in the city. Human development creates many challenges for wildlife and they must find a way to adapt in order to persist. In spite of this, our communities are filled with amazing species and breathtaking natural areas that are worthy of celebration and protection. This presentation will discuss the unique dynamics of urban ecosystems, how the fascinating creatures that live in urban areas manage to survive, and why they are so important.

Rachel Richter is an Urban Wildlife Biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife in DFW. She has a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Texas A&M and a master’s degree in Wildlife Ecology from Texas State. As an Urban Wildlife Biologist, she focuses on making our communities more wildlife-friendly through educational outreach and providing technical guidance.

Use this link to connect to ZOOM

Bats of the Area and How to Find Them

Friday, June 18, 7pm at SWNP

Local bat enthusiasts Ellen Ravkind and Anne Alderfer along with bat expert Kate Rugroden from the Bat World Sanctuary will provide the program.  Kate will talk about the bats in this area and the role the sanctuary plays in education and rehabilitation. Then Ellen will educate us on the echo location devices from Wildlife Acoustics (Echo Meter Touch 2) as a prolog to Ellen and Anne leading a hike looking for bats.

Wear sturdy shoes or boots, maybe bring bug spray and water, and especially a good flashlight or headlamp with fresh batteries. The walk back will be in the dark, so a good light will be essential.

May 14 Program Review

Yucca Moth Walk at SW Nature Preserve

Special thank you to John and Grace Darling for a perfect evening at SWNP. The Darlings have an amazingly broad and deep knowledge of everything to do with nature, from frog calls to plant IDs and even a defense of poison ivy.  The highlight of the evening was finding the blooming yuccas and their “obligate mutualistic” yucca moths. Male and female moths emerge from their cocoons in the spring, timed with the blossoming of the yucca plant. There is an extraordinary partnership between the yucca moth and the yucca plant. They are so interdependent that one cannot live without the other. Photo credits to Jan Miller, Lynn Healy, Jim Frisinger, Annabelle Corboy.

April 20 Program Review

Reptiles and Amphibians of SW Nature Preserve and Beyond

Presented by Michael Smith…We saw photos and heard stories of the frogs and toads, turtles, lizards and snakes found at the preserve and in the surrounding area. Michael answered questions like, “where can you find them” and “are they harmful or helpful?” He also included some information about venomous snakes, even though they have not been seen at the preserve.

Michael A. Smith is the cofounder and past-president of the Dallas–Fort Worth Herpetological Society and often teaches herpetology to local classes of master naturalists. He is the author of two books on herpetology – Herping Texas – The Quest for Reptiles and Amphibians co-authored with Clint R. King and The Wild Lives of Reptiles and Amphibians – A Young Herpetologist’s Guide

The program was presented via ZOOM. You can see our (slightly amateurish) recording on YouTube – https://youtu.be/xWz491v8mCs

March 2 Program Review

SWNP Programs are back!  Since 2018, the city of Kennedale has been working on a plan to highlight and enhance the creek systems that run through the city. The plan is important to the Friends of Southwest Nature Preserve, and includes a proposed wildlife crossing to connect SWNP with Village Creek and Winding Creek wildlife travel corridors. The Friends of SWNP have been represented in the stakeholder meetings by Lynn Healy and Jan Miller. Melissa Dailey, Director of Planning and Economic Development, described the plan and answered questions about how the plans impact the Southwest Nature Preserve.

Before there were cities, there were waterways. The Greenways creek system in Kennedale provides a unique opportunity for the creation of gathering places alongside nature and a citywide network of pathways. Those pathways could connect people by uniting many Kennedale neighborhoods, parks, schools, churches, and local businesses. People have gathered near waterways since the beginning of time. The Greenways creeks are prime to gather the people of Kennedale.

The City of Kennedale has partnered with the National Park Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance program and The University of Texas at Arlington College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs to develop a sustainable plan for pathways, amenities, erosion prevention, and natural conservation for the Kennedale Greenways. Through surveys, public meetings, and conversations with community members, the plan identifies improvements for Village, Kennedale, and Winding Creeks and the surrounding areas.

To see the presentation developed by the City of Kennedale, go to https://www.cityofkennedale.com/780/Greenways-Project