Upcoming Events

Saturday, February 24

Bring Color into Your Home with Terrariums

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Join Begonia experts in creating your own terrarium using begonias from the nationally recognized Begonia Species Collection. You will learn the method of creating and caring for a miniature tropical habitat for rare and exotic species and hybrids. You will take home your glass terrarium for instant color.

Instructor Bobbie Price is a 20 year volunteer in the nationally recognized Begonia Species Bank along with Don Miller who has spent his life searching for new species and conserving rare begonias. Debbie Garrett, the staff curator for the collection, studied horticulture at the University of North Texas. Her love for begonias centers on the conservation of the species.

Please Note: This class will take place in the Begonia Greenhouse at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

$20 members/$25 non-members

Saturday, March 3

Introduction to Botanical Illustration with Colored Pencils

Take your botanical illustrations in a new direction.

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Take your botanical illustrations in a new direction and learn how to work with colored pencils - a fun, versatile medium. The class will start with an introduction to some basic drawing techniques, making this an ideal class for individuals of all skill levels. Learn how to use colored pencils to portray perspective and plant structure, create texture, detail, and depth, and to accurately reproduce realistic color. Instructor Betsy Barry will help you experiment with different paper surfaces, learn techniques for blending and shading, and learn finishing techniques that will make your drawings stand out. Individual attention will put you on the path to create a finished botanical piece. Please bring a brown bag lunch and any snacks you might want as we'll be working through lunch!

Instructor Betsy Barry is originally from New England but she is currently living and creating in Kingwood, Texas. Her artistic process includes observing the small things around her that she finds interesting and beautiful, then studying the subject and drawing directly from life, striving to capture its beauty in colored pencil, graphite pencil or pen & ink.

In 2015, Barry completed the Distance Learning Diploma Course with the Society of Botanical Artists London, graduating with Distinction. You can see her work at her website: https://www.betsybarry.com/ 

Member ASBA, American Society of Botanic Artists, Member CPSA, Colored Pencil Society of America, Member GNSI, Guild of Natural Science Illustrator

Please note: this class is SOLD OUT. 

$85 members/$95 non-members

Required Materials List

Please bring the following items to class with you:

  • Graphite pencils - one each (2B, 4B, HB, 2H, 4H)
  • Hand held pencil sharpener
  • White eraser
  • Assortment of colored pencils: Faber-Castell Polychromos is my preferred brand and can be purchased online through quality art supply stores, ie: Dick Blick etc.. Colors should include a variety of greens, browns, grays and any other colors on hand.
  • Sketchbook : Canson Mixed Media sketch, minimum size 7x10. This is a great all around paper that works well for colored pencil work
  • Finish quality paper: Bristol 500 Plate surface and Stonehenge paper are good choices. A good quality, HOT Press watercolor paper or Bristol Paper are preferred, but it is a very individual choice! Can be purchased in a pad or as individual sheets.
  • BRIT will provide other incidental supplies.

Lichens: The Introductory Course

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Lichen biology is usually only included in basic science textbooks as an example of symbiotic associations between fungi and algae. There are few opportunities to study the intricate structures and processes of these complex organisms compared to opportunities to study birds, rocks, flowers, and trees. The study of lichens is highly rewarding, though, and you do not have to go very far to find them - they are all around you. The purpose of this workshop is to encourage the study of lichens in this region by exploring the basic characteristics needed to understand lichen biology and identification. This will be a self-paced, hands-on laboratory experience, using the author's Lichen Study Guide for Oklahoma and Surrounding States. Participants are encouraged to bring lichens they have collected.

Instructor Sheila Strawn is a native Oklahoman, and she holds a B.S. in Biology and a M.Ed. in Adult Education from the University of Central Oklahoma. Her Ph.D. in Grassland Ecology is from the University of Oklahoma. For the past 20 years Dr. Strawn has taught at the University of Central Oklahoma as Part-time Faculty teaching 4 to 8 hours of General Biology for non-majors each semester. She is the founding editor of the Oklahoma Native Plant Record and has served in that capacity for the last seventeen years. Her current research involves collecting, identifying, and developing distribution maps and an identification key for lichens growing in Oklahoma. Strawn is the author of Lichen Study Guide for Oklahoma and Surrounding States, which was published by the Botanical Research Institute of Texas in 2017.

$20 members/$25 non-members

Required Text:

Lichen Study Guide for Oklahoma and Surrounding States
https://shop.brit.org/products/oklahomalichens

Urban Gardening

Making Small Spaces Productive

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Ready to install your sustainable home garden, but don’t know where to start? This course is for you. In this course we will cover the basics of gardening systems in a small space from patios to residential yards. We will be discussing everything from container gardening to composting to water harvesting.

Instructor: Jason Ramsey of Perma-Scape Landscape Design and Management, a consultancy firm dedicated to regenerative agriculture practices and the Permaculture philosophy. Jason received his Permaculture certification in February of 2014 through Permaculture Denton. Jason has been a practitioner of Permaculture since 2008.

This class will be held in the BRIT Commons.

$20 members/$25 non-members

Culinary Herbal Infusions

Bright and flavorful.

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Join us in the Fort Worth Botanic Garden's kitchen and learn the basic techniques for infusing natural herbs in oil, vinegar, and honey. Make a natural infusion in class, and discover how to use infusions for culinary, household, and personal use. Take home basic recipes to expand your knowledge and skills of this fun and easy culinary craft.

Instructor Cassie Burgess is a lifelong lover of nature and plants, but herbs have always been a favorite focus. Recently, she has become fascinated by their usefulness in cooking, cleaning, and personal care. Burgess is currently studying to become an entrepreneurial herbalist, and spends lots of quality study time at the BRIT Library, expanding her knowledge of the herbal world.

$20 members/$25 non-members

Water Harvesting for the Home Gardener

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Given the current trends of drought and population growth, the Dallas-Fort Worth area will likely see new and/or further water use restrictions in the near future. Join us for this two hour, hands-on class and learn how to make the most of our unpredictable rainfall by designing, building, and using your own water harvesting system in your yard and garden. This class pairs perfectly with our “Urban Gardening: Making Small Spaces Productive” class.

Instructor Jason Ramsey of Perma-Scape Landscape Design and Management, a consultancy firm dedicated to regenerative agriculture practices and the Permaculture philosophy. Jason received his Permaculture certification in February of 2014 through Permaculture Denton. Jason has been a practitioner of Permaculture since 2008.

This class will be held in the Commons at BRIT.

$20 members/$25 non-members.

Tuesday, March 6

The perils of pecan production: fighting the fungal, furry and feathered

Nikki Charlton & Will Moseley, Noble Research Institute

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Pecans are the only native nut commercially produced in the United States and are an important crop in the Southern Great Plains. It can be a lucrative enterprise for producers and their popularity as a healthy food is growing rapidly. However, producing a crop comes with risks. Some of those risks come in the form of a disease called pecan scab, caused by the fungus Venturia effusa, as well as wildlife species such as squirrels, crows and feral hogs. Researchers at Noble Research Institute, LLC are learning more about these pests so they can work with producers to reduce their loss of production and produce a safe crop for human consumption. Learn about the current research being conducted and how producers are combatting these pests to increase yield and profitability.

Saturday, March 17

Growing Gourds and Making Soap with Luffas

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Join us for this two hour class and discover the versatile Luffa gourd - nature's bath sponge. The first part of the class will discuss how to grow the Luffa, when to harvest it, and how to process the gourds. The second half of this class will explore how to turn the processed gourd into handmade soap.

Instructors Sue Faught and Donna Deibert are sisters who inherited their love of gardening from their mother who was a Master Gardener in Bell County. Donna and Sue took an interest in growing gourds and have grown birdhouse gourds and Luffa gourds. They continue to grow a variety of plants in-ground, in raised beds and in pots. Nancy Curl is a Master Gardener who grows gourds and creates soap with Luffas.

Please Note: This class will take place in the Conservation Greenhouse Classroom at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.

$20 members/$25 non-members

Monday, March 19

The Wonder of Birds: What They Tell Us About Ourselves, the World, and a Better Future

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In The Wonder of Birds author Jim Robbins makes the case that birds provide our most vital connection to nature. “They compel us to look to the skies, both literally and metaphorically; draw us out into nature to seek their beauty; and let us experience vicariously what it is like to be weightless.” Join the BRIT Reads book club in March as we read and discuss our first book about our avian neighbors.

Tuesday, March 20

Vegetable Gardening in Containers

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If your vegetable gardening is limited by insufficient space or an unsuitable area, consider raising fresh, nutritious, homegrown vegetables in containers. A window sill, a patio, a balcony or ceramic pot will provide sufficient space for a productive mini-garden. Almost any vegetable that will grow in a typical backyard garden will also do well as a container- grown plant. Vegetables that are ideally suited for growing in containers include tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, green onions. beans, lettuce, squash, radishes and parsley. Most varieties that will do well when planted in a yard garden will also do well in containers.

Dates: March 20 & 27, 2018

Meets: 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM, 2 sessions

Instructor: LaVonne Nowlin

Fee: $50.00

Tuesday, April 3

Rare and federally-petitioned plants of Texas

Anna Strong, Texas Parks & Wildlife

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The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has initiated status reviews for a dozen rare Texas plant species, which were petitioned for listing under the Endangered Species Act. For these species to be accurately reviewed for listing status, scientific data must be available and up to date. One of the most reliable sources of information for Texas rare species is the Texas Natural Diversity Database (TXNDD), which is maintained by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. This presentation will discuss efforts to assist the TXNDD and USFWS in determining the listing status for the one dozen petitioned plants. For each species, a status report was completed to provide comprehensive species information, including population information, threats, and conservation efforts. Site visits to update population information are ongoing, but have been conducted for as many species and populations as possible.

anna strong

 

Wednesday, April 11

Vine to Table

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BRIT’s Vine to Table, Wine Dinner & Auction & Special Presentation of the 2018 International Sustainable Wine growing Award to Alexander Valley Vineyards of Sonoma County, California

Event Chairs, Gina & Bob Ravnaas

Alfresco at Botanical Research Institute of Texas
Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at 6:00 P.M.

It will feature a fabulous silent auction; a dinner prepared by six celebrity chefs including

  • Lead Chef Michael of Thomson of Michael’s Cuisine 
  • Jon Bonnell of Bonnell’s Restaurant Group
  • Terry Chandler of Fred’s Texas Café
  • Tim Love of Time Love Restaurants
  • Molly McCook of Ellerbe Fine Foods
  • Bernard Tronche of Saint-Emilion Restaurant

What makes this year’s Vine to Table award dinner and auction unique is that it not only celebrates the sustainable accomplishments of our current year’s winner, but it also celebrates of our past winners.

Saturday, April 14

Create a Monarch Waystation

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Learn how to create a garden to attract and support monarch butterflies on their journey north in the spring as well as their migration south in the fall. This class explains the monarch migration and the perils the butterflies face in the US and Mexico. Find out about conservation efforts and how you (or your class) can get involved in citizen science projects.

Instructor: Gail Manning

Fee: $45.00

Monday, April 16

Silent Spring

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If you love to read and you're passionate about botany, natural history, sustainability, and other similar topics, then join us the third Monday of each month for the BRIT Reads Book Club. This informal group meets from noon - 1 pm in the BRIT Library. Bring your lunch and bring a friend and come tell us what you thought about our book of the month. No time to read but still want to hear what people have to say about a particular book? No problem! We'd love to have you!

Saturday, April 28

Nature Hike Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge (FWNC&R)

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Nature Hike led by BRIT Board Member and Fort Worth Nature Center Board Member, Bob O’Kennon.

Join us at the Fort Worth Nature Center as we step back in time and experience what the Fort Worth/Dallas Metroplex was like in the early 20th century. FWNC&R covers 3,621 acres of natural area comprised of forests, prairies, and wetlands and includes over 20 miles of hiking trails, making the park one of the largest city-owned nature centers in the United States. 

  • Bring: Water, hats, sunscreen, hiking sticks, and a sack lunch. We will provide snacks and refills of ice water.
  • Cost: $10 Non-Members/$5 BRIT Members/FWNCR Members Free
  • Pets: Are permitted but must be strictly supervised, cleaned up after, and on a leash. 
  • Location: 9601 Fossil Ridge Road, Fort Worth, TX 76135

Please bring your Membership cards with you on the hike. Carpooling is suggested. We will meet at BRIT to leave by 7:15 a.m. If you want to carpool, please email Tammie Crole by Friday, April 27th at noon.  REGISTER HERE

-------BRING THOSE CELL PHONES TO PARTICIPATE IN CITY CHALLENGE 2018-----

Challenge

Which City is the Wildest? Bring Your Cell Phones on the Hike to Participate!

Cities around the world will compete on April 27 – 30, 2018 to see which urban area has the most nature and the most engaged residents! This City Nature Challenge will include more than 60 cities from 17 countries around the world including 7 metro areas here in Texas: Amarillo, Austin, Dallas/Fort Worth, El Paso, Houston, Lower Rio Grande Valley, and San Antonio.

If you live in or around one of these areas, show the world just how much nature we have here in Texas! It’s easy to participate by joining an event or making observations on your own using the iNaturalist app. Take a picture of a wild animal, plant, or fungi, upload it to iNaturalist (www.inaturalist.org), and the online community will help you accurately identify the species.  Download instructions for iNaturalist

Tuesday, May 1

Meet the Researchers

BRIT Researchers

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What makes the BRIT Researchers tick? How did they develop an interest in botany, and how did they end up here? Find out at this very special presentation! Members of the BRIT Research staff will give a series of five-minute "lightning talks" about how they got started in science and what their current job entails. There will be time for questions and answers after, and our special exhibit will be open to view: "BRIT Collections: The Hidden Gardens of BRIT."

Monday, May 21

Weeds: In Defense of Nature's Most Unloved Plants

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If you love to read and you're passionate about botany, natural history, sustainability, and other similar topics, then join us the third Monday of each month for the BRIT Reads Book Club. This informal group meets from noon - 1 pm in the BRIT Library. Bring your lunch and bring a friend and come tell us what you thought about our book of the month. No time to read but still want to hear what people have to say about a particular book? No problem! We'd love to have you!

Tuesday, June 5

Monitoring bat in Fort Worth through outreach

Victoria Bennett, Texas Christian University

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North American bats are subject to a number of potentially serious threats including emerging diseases and land-use change; however, there is great uncertainty as to whether such threats are detrimental to bat populations. Unlike birds, bats are cryptic, nocturnal, and produce vocalizations above human audible levels (ultrasonic). However, with ultrasonic detectors we can conduct surveys that allow us to record species-specific bat activity levels (an indicator of abundance) and activity patterns, such as migration. In turn, we can gain much needed insights into the population dynamics and stability of bats. Thus in 2013, we established the TCU Bat Outreach Program established in 2013, which not only raises public awareness for bats, but is the first long-term, citizen science-driven study to monitor bat populations in Texas, and potentially the United States. To date the TCU Bat Outreach Program involving K12 students has shown that urban parks can represent quality habitat for bats and essential migratory stopover sites.  This data has given us a better understanding of whether we can enhance and use urban refuges to benefit bat populations and this may be crucial to their conservation.

transect route
Transect route at BRIT/FWBG.

 

Monday, June 18

The Signature of All Things

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If you love to read and you're passionate about botany, natural history, sustainability, and other similar topics, then join us the third Monday of each month for the BRIT Reads Book Club. This informal group meets from noon - 1 pm in the BRIT Library. Bring your lunch and bring a friend and come tell us what you thought about our book of the month. No time to read but still want to hear what people have to say about a particular book? No problem! We'd love to have you!

Wednesday, July 11

Green Revolution

Reggie Robinson, Jared Williams, and the GR Agents of Change

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Green Revolution is an ESTEM (Environmental, Science, Technology, Engineering, and math) and positive youth-development program that provides environmental education experiences that sustain the natural curiosity of youth.

Click here to learn more about the Green Revolution program.

Monday, July 16

The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, and Pips Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History

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If you love to read and you're passionate about botany, natural history, sustainability, and other similar topics, then join us the third Monday of each month for the BRIT Reads Book Club. This informal group meets from noon - 1 pm in the BRIT Library. Bring your lunch and bring a friend and come tell us what you thought about our book of the month. No time to read but still want to hear what people have to say about a particular book? No problem! We'd love to have you!

Tuesday, September 4

Pura Vida – Thinking Locally, Connecting Globally

BRIT Education

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The BRIT Lecture Series is designed to create community wide conversation about a diverse range of important and rapidly developing topics. This series gives scientists and speakers a forum for sharing the most current information about their areas of expertise and allows the public to interact with leading members of the local, national, and international scientific community.

Our Lecture Series is made up of Brown Bag Lunchtime Lectures and BRIT Research Seminars. Brown Bags take place the first Tuesday of each month, February – July and September – November, from noon - 1pm in the BRIT Commons. Research Seminars take place periodically throughout the year and are scheduled based on the availability of our in-house and visiting researchers.

All events are free and open to the public, please watch this page and our Facebook page for announcements of upcoming Brown Bags and BRIT Researcher Seminars. 

Monday, September 17

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History

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If you love to read and you're passionate about botany, natural history, sustainability, and other similar topics, then join us the third Monday of each month for the BRIT Reads Book Club. This informal group meets from noon - 1 pm in the BRIT Library. Bring your lunch and bring a friend and come tell us what you thought about our book of the month. No time to read but still want to hear what people have to say about a particular book? No problem! We'd love to have you!

Tuesday, October 2

Acquiring an Orphaned Collection: The University of Louisiana Monroe Herbarium

BRIT Research

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The BRIT Lecture Series is designed to create community wide conversation about a diverse range of important and rapidly developing topics. This series gives scientists and speakers a forum for sharing the most current information about their areas of expertise and allows the public to interact with leading members of the local, national, and international scientific community.

Our Lecture Series is made up of Brown Bag Lunchtime Lectures and BRIT Research Seminars. Brown Bags take place the first Tuesday of each month, February – July and September – November, from noon - 1pm in the BRIT Commons. Research Seminars take place periodically throughout the year and are scheduled based on the availability of our in-house and visiting researchers.

All events are free and open to the public, please watch this page and our Facebook page for announcements of upcoming Brown Bags and BRIT Researcher Seminars. 

Monday, October 15

The Sound of Butterflies: A Novel

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If you love to read and you're passionate about botany, natural history, sustainability, and other similar topics, then join us the third Monday of each month for the BRIT Reads Book Club. This informal group meets from noon - 1 pm in the BRIT Library. Bring your lunch and bring a friend and come tell us what you thought about our book of the month. No time to read but still want to hear what people have to say about a particular book? No problem! We'd love to have you!

Tuesday, November 6

BRIT Research Botanist

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A lecture from our newest BRIT Research Botanist. Expected start date July 2018. Topic to be decided.

Monday, November 19

Braiding Sweet Grass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants

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If you love to read and you're passionate about botany, natural history, sustainability, and other similar topics, then join us the third Monday of each month for the BRIT Reads Book Club. This informal group meets from noon - 1 pm in the BRIT Library. Bring your lunch and bring a friend and come tell us what you thought about our book of the month. No time to read but still want to hear what people have to say about a particular book? No problem! We'd love to have you!