NANFA-- A public note of praise and thanks!

Denkhaus, Robert (
Fri, 28 Nov 2003 13:23:55 -0600

Some time ago, I was approached by the University of North Texas and the
Botanical Research Institute of Texas to assist in putting together and
hosting a "Trinity River Ecology Weekend". As anyone who has ever put
together a large event can attest, such things can be a real pain in the #$%.
However, I agreed to do it and the event was highly successful with
approximately 60 participants spending a Saturday at the UNT campus working
with their aquatic education staff, and then coming to the Nature Center to
camp out and participate in a variety of programs on Sunday morning.

On Sunday, participants went in "round robin" fashion through 4 activities
including aquatic invertebrate sampling (taught by 2 of my staff naturalists),
revegetating shorelines (led by our Refuge Manager), a canoe tour of various
lotic habitats (led by a volunteer canoe guide/naturalist) and seining (led by
John Bongiovanni, NANFA member from Tyler).

As is often the case with such events, I was bogged down in making sure that
everything ran smoothly and could not lead the seining sessions. John came to
the rescue immediately and did a fantastic job of #1 catching fish and #2
telling people about them. I'm sure that John will submit a collecting report
at a later date but I know that he caught several species that the average
person knew next to nothing about. Every time that I stopped in to check on
how things were going, there was someone pressing their nose to the glass
trying to get a better look at an orangespot sunfish, warmouth, or whatever.
Many people commented upon how much fun they had in the water learning about
things that they previously didn't know existed and John played a big role in
their enjoyment and learning. In addition, I know that John was touting NANFA
throughout the day.

So, let me publicly extend a thank you to John (THANKS JOHN!!) and encourage
anyone who is part of such an event to take advantage of your NANFA friends
and put them to work!

Rob Denkhaus
Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge
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