Upcoming Events

Monday, September 18

The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth

Richard Conniff

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From the mid-eighteenth century to the early twentieth, a colorful band of amateur naturalists explored the most perilous corners of the planet to discover new life-forms. Amid globe-spanning tales of adventure, Richard Conniff recounts a dramatic historical shift, as humans finally discovered the pantheon of life on Earth-and our place within it.

Thursday, September 21

Sip and Walk Plant Tour

Greg Gunn, Facilities Manager and Bob O’Kennon, Resident Research Associate

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Learn the glories of using native plants while touring BRIT’s landscape and find out what will work in your fall garden.

Wednesday, September 27

2017 International Award of Excellence in Conservation Gala

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International Award of Excellence in Conservation

As BRIT celebrates three decades, three Texas originals will be recognized with the International Award of Excellence in Conservation this anniversary year. They are: J. David Bamberger and Selah, Bamberger Ranch Preserve; Frank Yturria and the Frank Yturria Family Ranch; and the Texas Christian University Ranch Management Program.

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Thank You to our Sponsors

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Tuesday, October 3

The Story of BRIT: A Botanical Experiment in Herbaria & Library Collections

Barney Lipscomb, Dorothea Leonhardt Chair of Texas Botany, Head of BRIT Press

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The Botanical Research Institute of Texas (BRIT) is 30 years old but has been reinventing itself for 74 years (1944–2017). BRIT is an amazing story of how dedicated botanists acquired and developed botanical collections for teaching and research and how these collections moved from obscurity to the public spotlight. Yet, few people are aware of the botanical treasures and priceless gems that lie behind a nearly windowless Archive Block of precast concrete panels. The two-story 20,000-square-foot climate controlled storage hall is home to the “hidden” gardens of BRIT, the herbarium, an international research collection of over 1 million dried plant specimens, and clandestine library, a worldwide collection of botanical and horticultural literature, with about 100,000 volumes of books, journals, collections of original artworks, manuscripts, photographs, and other archival materials, dating back to the 16th century. BRIT’s hidden garden collections and research projects are used in our education and conservation efforts.

Saturday, October 7

Mr. Burk's Birthday Bash

Celebrating 20 years of the Burk Library at BRIT

Urban Gardening: Permaculture for Small Spaces

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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. 

$25 ($20 for members) 

Please note: online registration for this class will close on Thursday, October 5. 

Bella's Saturday Story Time

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Join Bella the Begonia at BRIT for this free family story time in the Burke Children’s Library followed by side-by-side indoor and/or outdoor learning activities on BRIT's prairie and inside "The Treehouse" classroom. 

Know Your Natives: Native American Plant Use

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Take a walk around the BRIT campus with Dr. Grace Bascopé, BRIT Resident Research Associate and Medical and Environmental Anthropologist, to learn about which and how plants were used by the First Peoples of the North Central Texas area. She will also discuss archaeological research carried out right around BRIT. Dr. Bascopé will  show you the First Peoples Demonstration Garden and discuss how Native Americans and others optimize water conservation in their gardens in this dry region. 

$10 ($5 for members) 

Seed Starting 101

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Get a jump on your spring garden and learn best practices for starting your seeds indoors including information about lighting sources, planting material, where to purchase seeds, and how to make your own seed starting pots. Additionally, you'll learn what varieties grow well in our climate and get tips on timing your seed starting.

Instructors: Kim Martin and Laurie Bostic of Barking Cat Farm, a small acreage specialty farm that focuses on growing high quality crops in an organic and sustainable manner. Martin and Bostic have their Permaculture Design Certificate from Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Design Course and offer permaculture design and consulting services to other growers and gardeners. 

Please note: online registration for this class will close on Thursday, October 5. 

Monday, October 16

Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation

Andrea Wulf

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For the Founding Fathers, gardening, agriculture, and botany were elemental passions: a conjoined interest as deeply ingrained in their characters as the battle for liberty and a belief in the greatness of their new nation. 

Thursday, October 19

Bubbling Cauldrons and Ghastly Plants

Barney Lipscomb, Director of BRIT Press, Leonhardt Chair of Texas Botany and Tiana Rehman, Collections Manager

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Peek inside the fiery cauldron of BRIT botanist and messenger of death, Barney Lipscomb, and discover the mysteriousness and mischievousness of plants past and present. Mr. Lipscomb will take you on a face-paced, multimedia journey through cultural, historical, and mythological aspects of poisonous plants. Costumes encouraged!

Saturday, November 4

Worm Composting

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Discover why you should consider vermicomposting, and learn how you can convert your household waste to soil fertility.  Discover where you should set up worm bins, how to setup and care for worm bins, and how to harvest your finished product. Learn about the beneficial microbes in living vermicompost and how they restore soil health.  Discover how to utilize worm castings as an affordable garden amendment to improve your chances for organic garden and landscaping success.  

Instructor: Heather Rinaldi grew up in the farm and ranch lands of Northern Oklahoma.  Heather opened Texas Worm Ranch in 2008.  The mission of Texas Worm Ranch is to educate and empower healthy people, healthy communities and a healthy planet.  It is Heather's belief that we can use safe, sustainable and non-toxic products and practices that will restore soils and make a healthier planet.  She is a speaker for Mother Earth News Fair and Texas Worm Ranch was awarded the GreenSource DFW Sustainable Leadership Award for Small Business in 2016.

$25 ($20 for members)

Please note: online registration for this class will close on Thursday, November 2. 

Bella's Saturday Story Time

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Join Bella the Begonia at BRIT for this free family story time in the Burke Children’s Library followed by side-by-side indoor and/or outdoor learning activities on BRIT's prairie and inside "The Treehouse" classroom. 

Grasses: The Rodney Dangerfield of the Vascular Plant World

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Grasses, often the most common plants in any given landscape, are also some of the most overlooked and misunderstood members of the plant world. Grasses, however, are what makes the prairie a prairie, they are an essential component of savannas, and they even occupy the understory of woodlands and forests.

This workshop will provide an introduction to the world of grasses that are found in the prairies, savannas, and woodlands of North Texas. The focus will be on field identification of grasses by their distinguishing physical characteristics. It will include an overview of basic terminology related to the parts of the grass plant, a brief discussion of taxonomic classification, discussion of the significance of various grass species, their potential values, and the ecosystem services they provide.  

$10 ($5 for members) 

Tuesday, November 7

The Amazing World of Lichens

Dr. Taylor Quedensley, BRIT Research Botanist

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Lichen-forming fungi play a major role in the biodiversity of most terrestrial ecosystems on every continent. These symbiotic entities represent a wide ecological breadth and phylogenetic evidence supports several lichenization events that have occurred over evolutionary time. The natural history and current trends within this diverse group will be discussed. 

Monday, November 20

Inventology: How We Dream Up Things That Change the World

Pagan Kennedy

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A father cleans up after his toddler and imagines a cup that won't spill. An engineer watches people using walkie-talkies and has an idea. A doctor figures out how to deliver patients to the operating room before they die.