Visit us at the Monarch Butterfly Festival – Sunday @ River Legacy Living Science Center
Oct 13 @ 11:00 am – 5:00 pm

As part of the River Legacy Fall Festival, the City of Arlington, the River Legacy Living Science Center, Tarrant County College and the Friends of the Southwest Nature Preserve are collaborating to hold a Monarch Butterfly Festival. The Monarch Butterfly Festival will offer activities aimed to enhance butterfly populations throughout The American Dream City. The Friends of SWNP will have a booth with activities for children plus information about the Preserve.

More information about the fall festival and the butterfly festival…

SWNP 6th Anniversary features Historic Tree Designation @ Southwest Nature Preserve
Oct 26 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am

SWNP 6th Anniversary Event will feature the awarding of the historic tree designation for the Caddo Oak, a 200 plus year-old post oak (Quercus stellata). The designation will be presented by the Texas Historic Tree Coalition. The post oak was nominated by the Friends of Southwest Nature Preserve.

The ceremony will be at the Caddo Oak tree, a .5 mile walk from the parking lot, so please allow about half an hour to reach the site. A shuttle will be available from the SWNP parking lot to the north gate, providing closer access to the ceremony site for those who want a shorter walk.

As always, the event is free and open to the public.

Program: The Native American Cultures of Arlington @ Community Room at the Arlington Police Department's West District Service Center
Nov 19 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

The speaker for our November meeting will be James Everett.  James is the President of the North Texas Archeological Society, the President-Elect of the Texas Archeological Society, and an Archeological Steward for the Texas Historical Commission.  He will discuss “The Native American Cultures of Arlington”.  His presentation will address the question “What Indians lived here?” and will provide  answers from history and prehistory.

Parking is available in the front of the building, accessed from Ron McAndrew Drive

The program is free and open to the public.

Black Friday: Opt Outside! Bird Walk @ Southwest Nature Preserve
Nov 29 @ 8:00 am – 10:00 am

Annual Bird Migration is under way. See what new visitors have arrived at the preserve.

Master Birder Walt Berk will lead us in a bird walk at the Preserve.
Topics include:
* Bird anatomy as it pertains to field identification
* Types of birds common to this region during this season
* Basic ecology, habitat associations and behaviors
Bring binoculars and walking shoes. We will visit several areas of the preserve during the two-hour walk. Meet in the parking lot.
 Among common migratory arrivals in November are gadwalls, American wigeons, mallards, Northern shovelers, ring-necked ducks, buffleheads, pied-billed grebes, American coots, red-shouldered hawks, red-tailed hawks, robins, field sparrows, song sparrows, white-throated sparrows, yellow-rumped warblers, orange-crowned warblers, dark-eyed juncos, ring-billed gulls, belted kingfishers, ruby-crowned kinglets and American goldfinches.

The event is sponsored by Friends of Southwest Nature Preserve and the City of Kennedale. As always, the event is free and open to the public.

Great Backyard Bird Count @ Southwest Nature Preserve
Feb 15 @ 8:00 am – 10:00 am
Join 210,000 birdwatchers worldwide as we count birds to gather real-time data on the health of populations by species. This data is an important snapshot of whether species are in decline, stable or expanding. It is an important research tool for environmental scientists.
All ages and skill levels welcome. Bring your binoculars and wear footwear and clothing suitable for the season. Count will be held rain or shine. This is our 13th bird count at the Southwest Nature Preserve.  Starts from the parking lot.

As always, the event is free and open to the public.

Program: Host and Nectar Native plants for Pollinators @ Arlington Public Library - Lake Arlington Branch
Feb 18 @ 6:30 pm – 7:45 pm

Please note early start time and library location (this month only)!

Josephine Keeney will help us learn about the best native pollinator plants for our area. That’s not just host plants for the larvae, but also the nectar plants that will feed the adults. Special plants invite special butterflies to our gardens!

Josephine is an expert on all aspects of native plants and how they support pollinators.  Josephine is a Master Naturalist with the Cross Timbers chapter, a member of the Native Plant Society, Arlington Conservation Council and the Arlington Organic Garden Club. She volunteers regularly at Molly Hollar Wildscape and at O.S. Gray Natural Area. And she manages the Randol Mill Park greenhouse.  She has been called a “plant laureate” for her expertise on native plant propagation and conservation.

Note that our February program will be held at the Arlington Public Library – Lake Arlington Branch.  4000 W Green Oaks Blvd, Arlington, TX 76016

The program is free and open to the public.

Village Creek – Then and Now @ Kennedale Public Library
Feb 20 @ 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

The Kennedale Historical Society is hosting a program on Kennedale-Arlington Yesterday and Today: A look at who lived here from the Battle of Village Creek to the creation of the Southwest Nature Preserve.

This is a tale of original Native American inhabitants and the upheaval caused when the European conquest of Texas reached here in the 1830s. The modern focus will be on the 58 acres of the Southwest Nature Preserve, which is freezing in time the land — and the plants and creatures that continue to live here – for future generations to enjoy.

Presenting on the Battle of Village Creek will be John R. Lundberg, Ph.D., professor of history at Tarrant County College South Campus. Jim Frisinger, a volunteer with the Friends of Southwest Nature Preserve, will speak about the history of the preserve property.

The event is free and open to the public.

Spring Break Birding Class for Youth @ Southwest Nature Preserve
Mar 12 @ 8:00 am – 10:00 am

Jim Frisinger and Anne Alderfer will lead a class on beginning birding, designed for students during Arlington’s Spring Break.

Dress to be outdoors and bring binoculars if you have them.

As always, the event is free and open to the public.

Cancelled – Program: Venomous Snakes in the DFW Area
Apr 21 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Instead, PLEASE SEE Michael Smith’s guide to Venomous Snakes in his Lives In Nature blog…

There are many snakes in Dallas, Tarrant, and the surrounding counties, and yet bites from venomous snakes are not common. Why is that? We will discuss a number of reasons, including that most snakes are not venomous, and even the venomous kinds try to avoid people as a matter of life and death (for them!). There will be lots of photos of venomous and non-venomous snakes. We will also talk about venomous snake bite and what to do if bitten.

The program will be presented by Michael Smith – a naturalist and writer living in North Texas. He has a lifelong interest in herpetology, and co-authored “Herping Texas: The Quest for Reptiles and Amphibians” (with Clint King, Texas A&M University Press, 2018). A second book is expected in spring of 2020. Michael’s “other” career is as a Psychological Associate, and he is interested in how time spent in nature affects us in terms of decreased stress and improved health.

Parking is available in the front of the building, accessed from Ron McAndrew Drive. The program is free and open to the public.

D I Y – City Nature Challenge 2020 @ Your house and yard, your neighborhood, or SWNP
Apr 24 – Apr 27 all-day

In support of the City Nature Challenge (CNC) 2020, the Friends of Southwest Nature Preserve had planned to host walks on Saturday, April 25. However, as with so many activities planned for April, our plans have changed. The inaturalist team organizing CNC have decided to keep the CNC event scheduled for April 24-27 (Observations) and April 28-May 3 (Identifications) but with significant modifications:
From the inaturalist site, “This year’s City Nature Challenge is no longer a competition. We want to embrace the collaborative aspect of the CNC this year and the healing power of nature to allow people to document their local biodiversity in whatever way they can.”
Here are some suggestions for those that want to be part of CNC2020.

  • If you plan to stay Indoors: You might be surprised at what you can find in your house. And there’s no rule that you can’t look through your windows, too.
  • Get serious about identifications! Many of us have lots of unstructured time, so why not spend some of it learning to Identify the Observations already in iNat plus those added during CNC2020.
  • If you can get outside but want to stay close to home:
    • Put up moth lights or put down cover boards.
    • Make those weeds into something useful by adding them as inat Observations.
    • And any plants are likely to be hosts to insects and other creatures.
  • Consider taking a walk around your neighborhood. With social distancing and traffic in mind.
  • At SWNP, we will have no organized activities. However, we recommend it as a great source for all kinds of nature. If you visit, consider a less popular time, such as early mornings.

No matter which of these activities you choose, get your smartphone ready:

  • Download the iNat app from the AppStore or Google Play
  • Sign In
  • Start taking photos and sharing your observations

For more information on the city nature challenge,