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  • Armand Bayou

    Nature Center

    Volunteer Newsletter

    Bayou Foliage M A R C H 2 0 1 4 V O L U M E 3 3 , I S S U E 3


    1 Stewardship Saturday

    13 Volunteer Board meet-

    ing, 5:30 pm

    13 Volunteer Meeting, 6:30

    pm, auditorium

    14 Prairie Friday

    15 Stewardship Saturday

    16 Sundays In Nature,

    1-3 pm

    20 Bayou Foliage deadline

    21 Prairie Friday

    22 New Volunteer Orienta-


    28 Prairie Friday

    When you are finished

    with this publication

    please recycle it. Thanks!

    Down at the Bayou by Madeleine K. Barnes

    VOLUNTEER MEETING March 13, 2014

    6:30 refreshments

    7:00 program

    8:00 business meeting

    On the trail again this month, I am exploring the reasons for volunteering. I have the

    opportunity to meet and work with many volunteers from a variety of backgrounds.

    Both of the volunteers I contacted are serving on the volunteer board this year and

    were gracious in sharing their insights. One of these is Karen Sutera, who heads up

    the guided trail hikes on weekends, which include the owl prowls and firefly hikes

    too. She has been volunteering for several years at ABNC while working full time.

    Like many of us, she spent much of her childhood outside (in Michigan), enjoying

    nature and activities that included hiking and camping. As an adult, her focus moved

    to a growing family and career. Then one day while driving on Bay Area Blvd., she

    saw the sign for ABNC and felt she was missing activities she had enjoyed before,

    like hiking in the woods. So she signed up to volunteer and finds that by the act of

    hiking and sharing her love of nature with others, her “spirit is renewed and re-

    freshed.” She is an enthusiastic volunteer naturalist and this attitude is worth catch-

    ing and sharing.

    I also spoke with another long time volunteer, Polly Swerdlin. Polly personifies

    the meaning of “volunteer” by being willing to take on roles and responsibilities

    whenever the need arises. She is currently coordinating weekend greeters for

    the guest admissions area and natural history/cultural history (farmhouse) inter-

    preters. In addition, she is working on a special project each week to scan all of

    the photos/slides in the archives onto a hard drive for accessibility. She has said

    that even if you are tired or somewhat stressed by other issues, they seem to fall

    to the side once you get out in nature and see something that you find interesting

    or amazing. She is a pleasure to work with due to her attitude of making the work

    fun, and is a dedicated volunteer supporter who loves sharing cultural history

    with others.

    Why do you volunteer? What would you tell others if you were asked? I would

    like to share your perspective with others and would appreciate hearing from

    you. Each of us has something to contribute as well as what we receive in return.

    What have you seen lately at ABNC that you thought was amazing or special?

  • From the Chair

    Barbara Baxter Ext 18

    Kathy Gardner Ext 13

    Eloise Harper

    Dave Kovach Ext 16

    Tom Kartrude Ext 11

    Mark Kramer Ext 15

    Jessica Collier Ext 17

    Jennifer Logsdon Ext 10

    Heather Millar Ext 14

    Susan Millsap Ext 10

    Janice Schrager Ext 12

    P A G E 2

    Armand Bayou

    Nature Center




    Chair Liz VanOrstrand 281-480-8296 [email protected]

    Vice-chair Joe Bryan 409-933-4087 [email protected]

    Secretary Sam Dinsmore 281-461-6270 [email protected]

    Treasurer Eleanor Stanley 713-455-1502 no email

    Administrative Gaye Batiz 713-518-5759 [email protected]

    Weekend demos Polly Swerdlin 281-814-4606 [email protected]

    Weekend trails Karen Sutera 281-474-5087 [email protected]

    Greeters/Interpreters Polly Swerdlin 281-814-4606 [email protected]

    Weekday Education Madeleine Barnes 281-474-9406 [email protected]

    Outreach Susan Millsap 281-538-6695 [email protected]

    Facilities Jim Frantz 281-470-0946 [email protected]

    Stewardship Ed Craven 917-921-8290 [email protected]

    Webmaster Shawn Gano 832-314-1608 [email protected]

    Bayou Foliage editor Mary Alice Trumble 281-435-5788 [email protected]



    B A Y O U F O L I A G E

    Email addresses are ‘firstname’ Example: [email protected]

    I am starting to feel like maybe winter is about

    over here on the Texas Gulf Coast. There is pol-

    len all over everything and bits of green on

    many of the plants. It would be nice if we could

    get some rain, we really do not want another

    drought year. With spring right around the cor-

    ner, it is time to start looking at what we want

    to explore this year.

    “To be an explorer is to set off toward a goal we

    cannot name on a path we do not know. It re-

    quires that we be willing to find what we least

    expect – and to make a life out of it whatever it

    is. It is out of explorers like these that the

    planet got a New World. And so may we.” That

    is my favorite quite this month from The Monas-

    tic Way.

    Armand Bayou Nature Center is full of explor-

    ers. Each and every staff member, volunteer

    and all our visitors are explorers. Maybe you

    have been out here for years and it does not

    seem like an adventure any more. On the other

    hand, if you have been here for years then

    maybe you can rediscover the awe and wonder

    by helping those of us who are newly exploring

    this wonderful oasis.

    There will be a New Volunteer Orientation on

    March 22 and April 5. This training will focus on

    Natural History Interpretation. Is there someone

    you work with, go to school with, or even live

    with that would be interested in exploring the

    many aspects of volunteering at ABNC? If so,

    please have them contact the office for addi-

    tional information.

    In the past, ABNC had continuing education

    training for our volunteers. Our volunteer meet-

    ings have had some excellent speakers and I

    myself am looking forward to hearing Dr. Paul

    Nester on the crazy ant issue. But, the one hour

    of lecture just isn’t enough for the explorer in

    me. I think it is time to invest more time in con-

    tinuing education for our volunteers. Each and

    (Continued on page 6)

    Liz VanOrstrand

    Volunteer Chair


    mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected] mailto:[email protected]

  • VOLUNTEER MEETING PROGRAM Crazy Ants Invade the Houston Area

    Thursday, March 13, 2014

    7:00—8:00 pm

    Don’t forget to count this

    program as continuing


    ...Joe Bryan


    Dr. Paul Nester of Texas AgriLife presents

    “Tawny Crazy or Rasberry Crazy Ants in the Houston area”

    Learn how to identify these invasive, destructive ants and what can

    be done to protect your home and property from them.

    More information to follow on volunteer website.

    ABNC Volunteer Meeting Minutes March 14, 2013

    P A G E 3 V O L U M E 3 3 , I S S U E 3

    A half hour of social time was enjoyed by all from 6:30 until

    7:00. Joe Bryan, Volunteer Vice Chairman, then introduced

    the speaker for the evening, John Thornton with his talk on

    butterflies. Originally from Rhode Island, John has been inter-

    ested in butterflies since the late 70’s. He has a large collec-

    tion and presented a wonderful video presentation of photos

    he has taken in various parts of the world. Planting a butterfly

    garden in his tiny subdivision plot in 2004 resulted in 35 but-

    terfly species being sighted plus providing him the opportunity

    to raise a number of species through their life cycle. He gave

    tips on the type of plants needed in our gardens in order to

    attract butterflies. John is also a volunteer at ABNC.

    After the program, Chair Liz VanOrstrand opened the monthly

    meeting. She reported that a committee had met to prioritize

    the “wish list” that had been presented to the Vol. board for

    purchase. The list was shared with the members and after

    everyone had a chance to review it, the motion was made and

    seconded to buy the items listed. Motion carried. Total cost


    Polly Swerdlin gave a report on the Frank C. Smith Library

    Project Progress. Duplicate books have been taken to the

    Evelyn Meador Library Friends Bookshop in Seabrook. The

    books on the shelves are in Dewey Decimal order. Some of

    the books are delicate and should only be read in the library,

    not loaned out. Wo