For his volunteer service of 1,000 hours to the Hill Country community, Kerr County resident Richard Coleman was awarded recognition from the Hill Country Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist Program.
Coleman and his wife, Teresa, retired to Kerrville in December 2015 and attended a few chapter meetings of the Hill Country Master Naturalists before they applied to become members of the 2016 training class. They both started working with Larry Eskridge at the Kerrville-Schreiner Pollinator Garden before the class even started.
Coleman says he also was inspired by Kathy Downs, whom he describes as the “Queen Bee of Monarchs” and says her enthusiasm about gardens and native pollinators is infections.
After they became Master Naturalists, both Richard and Teresa Coleman became docents at Riverside Nature Center and began working in the pollinator garden at the Kerr County Courthouse. With the support of the Hill Country Master Naturalists as well as the boards of the Boerne, Fredericksburg and Kerrville Native Plant Society of Texas chapters, they were with others empowered to start the Pollinator Garden Assistance and Recognition Program.
The intention of the program is to do more educational outreach in the community, and the program’s mission is to educate adults and children about native plants and pollinators as well as generate awareness about the Master Naturalist Program and the Native Plant Society programs.
The goal is to encourage small plot gardeners to dedicate garden space to pollinator-friendly native plants. Through group presentations and visits to individual properties, volunteers like the Colemans discuss and give advice to homeowners as to which native plants would thrive in their planned garden space.
The other goal of the Pollinator Garden Assistance Program is to recognize successful gardeners at chapter meetings and have them display a garden plaque, so their friends and neighbors can become aware of their accomplishments. Richard Coleman reports that in the first year, he and other volunteers did a dozen presentations, had tables at five outdoor events and performed 36 site visits.
Additional information about the Pollinator Garden Assistance Program is available on the Texas Master Naturalist, Hill Country Chapter website located at https://txmn.org/hillcountry/PGARP.
For advice about planting a pollinator garden, contact one of following:
About the Hill Country Chapter
Texas Master Naturalist, Hill Country Chapter, is one of 48 regional Texas Master Naturalist volunteer corps. The chapter serves Bandera, Edwards, Gillespie, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble, Mason, Menard, Real and San Saba counties. Members receive comprehensive training in natural resource management specific to the Hill Country and share their knowledge to promote conservation and good stewardship in their communities. For information, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hill Country Chapter is accepting applications until June 30 for the 2019 Training Class. Anyone interested in becoming a Texas Master Naturalist is asked to visit txmn.org/hillcountry.