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General Meeting 11/22/2022 7:30 PM

Anita Westervelt is a South Texas Border Chapter Texas Master Naturalist with more than 6,600 volunteer hours. A freelance photojournalist, she has written a newspaper nature column for the McAllen Monitor for seven years and has authored Anita’s Blog, a look at the natural world of the Rio Grande Valley, for eight years. She holds a Fine Arts degree from the University of Maryland, European Division and a Communication Degree from Pittsburg State University.

She is a retired U.S. Navy Chief Journalist and former External Affairs Officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency where she was a Disaster Communication Expert in Response and Recovery.

She has been intrigued with plants since the age of two and photographed flora wherever she was deployed, both in the United States and overseas. More recently she has been fascinated with attracting moths and other fliers of the dark with a black light/moth sheet set up. She is an avid Citizen Scientist BioBlitz participant and contributor to the data repository,, where she has contributed more than 11,500 observations.

Her presentation, “Don’t’ Kill it ‘Till You Know What It Is,” is a look at many of those random mystery plants that suddenly appear in a yard or garden and how they might be useful to wildlife. “Many plants we don’t even consider because they’ve just always been around. We might be able to name some of them but don’t regard them as having any value to the environment,” Westervelt said. Her presentation is meant to pique curiosity and encourage people to consider the benefits or ramifications of letting volunteer plants mature.

The program will be November 22nd at 7:30 PM, at the Valley Nature Center, 301 South Border St. in Weslaco, behind Gibson Park. The public is welcome; there is no charge to attend.

Board of Directors Meeting will precede the General Meeting  at  6:30 PM.


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