October 2019


Did you know that every time you purchase a sporting good – like a bicycle, fishing tackle, golf equipment, or a kayak – a portion of the existing tax you pay is called the Sporting Goods Sales Tax (SGST)? This tax was created in 1993 to help fund state parks and from 1993 to 2017 more than $2.5 billion has been realized from the SGST.

Unfortunately, only 40% of those funds have made their way to our parks and the annual changes in funding have made long-term planning for parks near impossible. Many of our parks and historical sites face serious structural challenges from deteriorating and outdated infrastructure, harsh environmental conditions, and extreme weather events including floods and droughts. There are five parks still waiting to be opened. All the while, visitation has continued to increase, approaching 10 million visitations each year.

Fortunately, the 86th Texas Legislature had two stalwart champions – State Sen. Lois Kolkhorst and State Rep. John Cyrier—who wanted to ensure that our parks and historical sites had consistent, reliable funding for generations to come. A bill to put a constitutional dedication of the SGST on the ballot passed with near unanimous support, demonstrating the widespread recognition that it was long past time to address this issue.

Now it’s our turn to do our part. On November 5, Texans will have the opportunity to vote YES on Proposition 5 to protect Texas' natural areas, water quality, and history. Importantly, this requires no new taxes or fees. Prop. 5 will dedicate revenue from the SGST, so those dollars can only be used by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the Texas Historical Commission on public parks and historic sites, and not for any other purposes.

I hope you will join me and other members of the outdoor community and vote YES on Prop. 5 on Nov. 5.

For more information on this issue, visit www.SupportTexasParks.org or follow the campaign on Twitter and Instagram, and like the Texas Coalition for State Parks on Facebook to help spread the word.

Mary Anne Piacentini
President and Chief Executive Officer
Check This Out!
Let us know you are coming here !
Birdwatching for Bird Week!
In appreciation of the Houston Audubon's Bird Week and 50th Anniversary, some of us here at KPC took a bird walk last week at the Indiangrass Preserve. We were lucky to be led by expert birder and KPC Advisory Board member, Bob Honig.

While on our walk we spotted a juvenile Northern harrier flying low and slow over the tall prairie grasses. Bob explained that, like owls, they have disk-shaped faces that help them hear their prey while hunting over dense prairie and marsh. It was the first Northern harrier he has seen during this year's fall migration. Lucky us!

When you visit the Indiangrass Preserve this fall, bring your binoculars so that you're ready to spot the many bird visitors passing through, including maybe even a Northern harrier!
Northern harrier, Circus hudsonius
Photos courtesy of Greg Lavaty
Upcoming Events On the Prairie
October Volunteer Opportunities

You can make a difference! First time volunteers, fill out a volunteer application here . We are working on a variety of different volunteer projects at Indiangrass Preserve and Shrike Prairie throughout the year. Join us during any of the times below.

Indiangrass Preserve
Tuesdays: 9 am - 3 pm
Fridays: 9 am - 1 pm
Saturdays: 9 am - 1 pm on the 1st & 3rd Saturdays of the month
Volunteer Photographer Wanted!
We're looking for a volunteer to help us photograph all the fun that will be had by volunteers at Putting Down Roots on Saturday, November 9, 2019.

If you're interested, please email us at
Seed Collecting Opportunities
Join us for seed collecting at a prairie near you! Collect for KPC, any other nonprofit organization or for your own personal use. 

What to bring/wear:

  • Please bring pruners or scissors, a bucket or reusable grocery bag, and a pen. Supplies are available if you need them.
  • Please wear closed-toe shoes, a long sleeve shirt, and long pants.
  • We recommend you bring water, a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
Deer Park Prairie
Meet at 1222 E. Purdue Lane, Deer Park, Texas 77536
Please do not park in front of the neighbors' houses

Wednesday, October 9, 2019
9 am - noon
All ages

Let us know you are coming here and please bring a signed liability release (NPAT) .
Nash Prairie
Meet at Nash Prairie, park on County Rd 255 (Orozimbo Rd) and walk across the street to the prairie. We will meet at the start of the gravel road - the red marker on this map .

Monday, October 14, 2019
9 am - noon
All ages
MD Anderson Pocket Prairie
Please sign up at this link and you will be contacted regarding parking instructions.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019
9 am - 11:30 am
All ages
Around the Region
Bulb & Plant Mart 2019 is October 3 - 5, 2019

The Garden Club of Houston, a KPC Supporter and 9 Native enthusiast, is hosting their 77th Annual Bulb & Plant Mart!

Admission is Free!

  • Thursday, October 3rd | 5 pm - 7 pm – Early Bird Shopping
  • Friday, October 4th | 9 am - 5 pm
  • At 11 am on Friday, speaker – Susie Marten, Outreach Specialist with the Katy Prairie Conservancy, will be giving a talk on our 9 Natives Program
  • Saturday, October 5th | 9 am - 2 pm

Location: The Church of St. John the Divine, 2450 River Oaks Boulevard, 77019

For more information on speakers and scheduling - visit our event page !
Free Webinar for Landowners: Drone Use on Ranches

Presenter: Dr. Megan Clayton, Texas AgriLife Extension Service
Date: Thursday, October 3, 2019
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM CST
Credit: None

Drones have become popular for both recreational and commercial use, but how could you most effectively use them for your ranching operation? This webinar will cover different types of drones for sale, features to look for, and rules you must follow depending on your situation and purpose.

Tiger Prairie Reveal, Saturday October 12, 2019
The Katy High School Tiger Prairie is hosting an open house during the Rice Harvest Festival in downtown Katy.

The Katy HS Bee Keeping Club will have their bee keeping suits available for kids to try on and there will be face painting! Visitors can walk the trails to view the seedling prairie plants. If you're attending the festival, be sure to stop by!

For more information on the Tiger Prairie please check out their website .
Photo courtesy of Rhonda Burrough
Treat Yourself!

Get your Preserve the Katy Prairie T-shirt!
T-shirts still available here !

$15 each while supplies last.
Katy Prairie Conservancy | katyprairie.org  | 713-523-6135 | info@katyprairie.org