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ARA In-person Luncheon Monday, March 21, 2022, 11:30am

Dear ARA Members,

We are pleased to announce our next Alcon Retirees Association luncheon will take place on Monday, March 21, 2022, at 11:30am, at the Alcon Conference Center (old cafeteria).

Our speaker will be JoAnn Collins who will address the topic of “Why Prairies Matter”.

JoAnn Collins found her passion for prairies after retiring from teaching elementary school for 29 years. Starting a school garden led her to become a Texas Master Naturalist. After dabbling with becoming a Citizen Forester she was enlisted to help save a prairie in SW Tarrant County near Benbrook Lake. Strangely enough, taking groups to this prairie on monthly walks made her fall in love with them, especially after witnessing monarch butterflies on their way to Mexico. During this time, she met members of the Native Prairies Association of Texas and helped to plan a prairie conference for North Texas. This conference led to the formation of two new chapters of NPAT in Fort Worth and Dallas. Unfortunately, that prairie she tried to save was sold and is being subdivided into the next neighborhood like so many others that have sprung up recently. This strengthened her desire to spread the word to all about why prairies matter. She is the Outreach Coordinator for the Fort Worth chapter and serves on the state board of NPAT.

She still teaches as a substitute with FWISD and tries to get students involved in learning about nature by doing nature driven community service. With help from students at the Young Women’s Leadership Academy in Fort Worth she began the Savage Cabbage Bash in 2015 where students meet to pull an invasive species (Rapistrum rugosum) along the Trinity Trails. March 26th will be the 5th anniversary of this event, the first year back after Covid restrictions.

When not teaching or preaching about prairies, she can be found trying to manage her own small urban prairie in her yard or trying to acquire a green thumb and be a successful vegetable gardener! She lives in Fort Worth with her husband, teen and two dogs! They love to travel!

No reservations required. It’s free for members and $10 for guests. Also, remember to pay your $10 dues for 2022 if you haven’t done so already. You may pay at the sign-in desk when you arrive.

As in the past, look for the orange cones in the northwest corner of the Tower A lot for our reserved parking. If you don’t have an Alcon Retirees gold card, let me know.

Note: Covid restrictions have been completely lifted.  Masks, social distancing, and capacity are all back to normal.  People can still wear masks, however.

11:30 Sign-in
12:00 Buffet opens
12:50 Program begins
1:50 Wrap up

I’m looking forward to seeing you on March 21st!

Warmest regards,
Pat Cappelletti
President, Alcon Retirees Association