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October 15th, 2022

Eradicating invasive species (KR Bluestem) is a joyful thing.


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Help Needed

Upcoming Events

Volunteer Opportunities

Stories to Share

Advanced Training

Member Spotlight


Important information on the latest in CAMN.

CAMN Chapter Meeting
Wednesday, October 26th | 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.
Virtual Zoom Meeting

Join other CAMN members to catch up on the latest chapter news and hear Craig Hensley talk about Community Science and iNaturalist: Exploring Natural Connections.

Craig Hensley is a Texas Nature Trackers Biologist with the Community Stewardship and Engagement Program in Wildlife Diversity with TPWD. He has been an educator and naturalist for all of his adult life, sharing his passion for the natural world through engaging programs for more than thirty years and he holds a Master's of Science in Zoology from the University of Arkansas. 

iNaturalist is an app for connecting people to the natural world. This presentation will provide an insightful overview of the iNaturalist website and app, and individuals acting as community scientists can make a positive difference for conservation. He will also share an exciting field research opportunity in the Round Rock area involving the Loggerhead Shrike. 

For Family Fun, Maybe Some Volunteer Hours

The fifth annual Roots and Wings Festival will be held October 22nd through November 5th and it celebrates both Arbor Day and Monarch Appreciation Day. The festival has family-friendly pop-up events all over the city to help people connect with and learn about Austin's natural resources and beauty.  View the schedule of events.  

There are also a few remaining slots for volunteers to work at festival events.  VMS code:  PO, Public Outreach.

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Help Needed

Special requests for assistance!

Wild Basin Native Plant Sensory Garden Caretaker

Wild Basin is seeking a volunteer to improve and maintain a sensory garden for which they received a grant in the spring of 2020.  Training, tools and materials will be provided by WB and there is a small budget for plants, fertilizers, structures and irrigation.  

The volunteer in this position will ensure that the sensory garden is regularly watered, fed (organic fertilizer), weeded, and plants are trimmed to promote growth of flowers. This will likely require a weekly or bi-weekly investment of two to four hours depending on the season.

To apply email with a brief description of your interest and skills to support this volunteer position. More information can be found here.

CAMN Junior Master Naturalist Series

CAMN is partnering with the Mendez Recreation Center to organize and lead a series of free, family-friendly events on Saturdays this fall.  The sessions run from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  You can help make these events a success by setting up and taking down exhibits, working tables and demonstrations and helping guide members of the public.

The program themes and dates are:
October 1:  Get to Know Nature (The focus is ecology)
October 15: Birds and Bugs
November 5: Plants
November 19:  Wildlife
December 3:  Water and Geology

If you can help, please complete this form to pick the date/dates and activity you prefer.  
VMS Category:  PO, Public Outreach

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Stories to Share

A closer look at the people and opportunities connected to CAMN

Forest Restoration on the Balcones Canyonland Preserve

The Balcones Canyonlands Preserve (BCP, part of the Wildland Conservation Division of Austin Water) is a favorite volunteer site for many CAMN members.  The BCP preserves mitigate the loss of endangered and rare species due to development in western Travis County. The preserves also help reduce air and soil temperatures, infiltrate water that feeds our aquifers and lakes, and improve air quality. A BCP goal is to support these ecosystem services and provide the best habitat possible for the species that depend on them for their survival. They work together with volunteers to build community while learning about soil biology, native plants, and wildlife. 

This fall and winter the BCP staff needs volunteers to plant hundreds of native trees and shrubs to rebuild healthy soils and sequester carbon, increase biodiversity, support pollinators, and promote habitat for the endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler and other rare species. Also the BCP project will include collecting native seeds on the Balcones Canyonlands Preserve to create a native plant nursery, which will provide a source of  “hyperlocal” trees and shrubs for planting. 

The BCP will host 2-hour volunteer workdays every Friday and Saturday on the  JJ&T (Double J&T) tract from October through February. No prior experience is necessary. They will provide all equipment and training to collect and plant native seeds, plant native trees and shrubs, cage trees and shrubs to protect them from deer herbivory, and water and nurture the plantings. Occasionally logs of invasive plants will be inoculated with native wood-decomposing mushrooms 

Many hands are needed to accomplish these goals.  If you want to help, sign up for one or more tree planting and nursery work sessions at JJ&T..  Wear sturdy shoes and sun protection.  Bring water and snacks.

VMS Category:  Resource Management

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Upcoming Events

Volunteer. Learn. Connect.

Community Levels of COVID-19 in Travis County: Low

The calendar of events has been updated with regularly scheduled, recurring volunteer service (VS) and advanced training (AT) opportunities.  Click on an event to learn more about it including the location, duration, what to expect and how to sign up.  If you know of a regularly scheduled event that we missed, please let us know about it at
  • Calendar of volunteer and training opportunities.
  • List of pre-approved CAMN partners and projects.  Activities hosted by a pre-approved partner do not require individual pre-approval if the activity supports the mission of the TXMN program.



Habitat Restoration on WQPL and BCP Preserves
Multiple days in October and November

If you can't make the reforestation project at JJ&T there are still many projects for you with the Wildlands Conservation Division.  Take you pick from seed collecting and cleaning, propagating native plants from collected seed, plant native trees and plants and care for the reintroduced plants.  Visit Wildland Conservation to see the variety of projects that need help from volunteers.
VMS Category:  RM, Resource Management

Ecological Restoration with The Trail Conservancy
Wednesday, October 19th | 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Friday, October 21st | 9:00 a.m - 12:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 22nd | 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Help The Trail Conservancy (FKA The Trail Foundation) restore and maintain the natural areas surrounding the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail. Activities will include mulching, seeding, seed collection, invasive plant species removal, and a variety of other ecological activities on different parts of the trail.  
Register for the day(s) you prefer. Locations vary.
VMS Category: RM, Resource Management

Invasive Species Management on Stenis Tract
Saturday, October 22nd | 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Join the Bull Creek Foundation to girdle ligustrum on this section of Bull Creek. Register.
VMS Category:  RM, Resouce Management

Bird Survey at Brackenridge Field Lab
Sunday, October 23rd | 7:30 a.m - 9:30 a.m.

If you're not at the annual TMN meeting, come on down to Brack for the monthly bird survey. Bring binoculars and lots of water. Long pants recommended and closed-toe shoes a must. Contact Cheryl at or (512)636-5835 if you'd like to join. 
VMS category FR: Brackenridge Field Lab

It's My Park Day
Saturday, November 5th 

This community wide event, sponsored by the Austin Parks Foundation occurs twice a year.  This fall's event will be entirely in person.  Choose an event in your neighborhood or explore a new park or preserve.  The hours vary.

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Bicycling With Butterflies
Wednesday, October 19th | 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Author Sarah Dykman will discuss her book, Bicycling with Butterflies, that chronicles her 10,200 mile solo bicycle trip following the migration of monarch butterflies from Canada to Mexico.  The talk will be in the Garden Center Auditorium at the Zilker Botanical Gardens at 2220 Barton Springs Road.

Predatory Fungi
Thursday, October 20th | 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Hosted by the Central Texas Mycological Society, mycologist Sidnee Obersingleton will talk about new discoveries in the fungal world. 

This talk describes the remarkable range of strategies devised by countless fungi to entrap or hunt prey, whether that be micro-animals, arthropods, bacteria, or even other fungi. You'll hear how serendipitous work by farmers and mycologists led to the discovery of new nematode-trapping mushrooms, and the implications this predation has for the evolution of fungi and their impacts on globe-spanning ecosystems as they blur the line between prey and hosts.

This online event will be presented via Zoom and live-streamed via Youtube.  

Everything You Didn't Know About Opossums 
Friday, October 28th | 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

A part of the Wild Neighbors webinar series, Everything You Didn't Know About Opossums, is presented by the Wildlands' Guin McDaid. Opossums are one of the most misunderstood wild animals in North America, yet they are extremely beneficial to both humans and other wildlife. Guin McDaid has been a wildlife rehabilitator on and off for the past twenty years and opossums are her animal of choice. She will present details about opossums' “superpowers," their habitat and behavior, life cycles, mating habits, as well as a long list of interesting facts about why we should protect and cherish our very own Texas marsupials. 


Improving Health Through Nature
Wednesday, November 2nd | 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

This talk will examine the growing body of evidence of the relationship between improved health and wellbeing and time spent in nature.  Topics will include dose, measuring nature exposure, health benefits and potential pathways through which nature improves health.  The development of evidence-based interventions to increase time in nature particularly those that address health disparities will also be covered.

Speaker: Jay Maddock, Ph.D., FAAHB, Professor, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Texas A&M University; Director for Center for Health and Nature


The second Tuesday of each month | 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Earn an hour of advanced training by viewing a video, either live or recorded. Each month is a new topic relevant to the TMN Program.  For more information, visit the TXMN website.

Note that viewing videos from 2021 does not count as advanced training for 2022.

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Member Spotlight

Get to know a fellow naturalist.

Meet CAMN Member Tam Tran

What year was your training class? 

The CAMN Class of 2016.

What is your favorite (or most frequent) volunteer activity with CAMN? 

I've been helping the City of Austin - Wildlands Department for the past 7 years with their Golden-cheeked Warbler resighting survey. This year was my first at Kent Butler. I've previously done it for many years at the Audubon Baker Sanctuary. Outside of GCWA nesting season, I help out with invasive species removal and habitat restoration at the Blair Woods Preserve and with the annual Christmas Bird Count.

What would you say is your focus as a naturalist? 

I really enjoy bird watching and taking photos of insects. iNaturalist has helped me become a better entomologist.

What do you do outside of CAMN?

I work as an environmental scientist where I get to do freshwater mussel surveys, biological assessments, wetland delineations and permitting for conservation projects like bird islands and living shoreline breakwaters. My other hobbies include homebrewing, camping, and gardening.

How can other members reach you?

My email is

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