Meetings / Programs

  • The main feature of the monthly Piney Woods Wildlife Society meetings is a presentation about a wildlife, bird or another nature topic.
  • NOTE:  We have changed our monthly meetings as of Sept 2022 to be on the third Tuesday, instead of on the third Wednesday. Also, our meetings will now start at 6:30 p.m. with social time beginning at 6 p.m. Additional, the Piney Woods board decided beginning with February 2023 that we are going back to in-person meetings only.
  • Meetings are held monthly on every third Tuesday (except June, July and August) — occasionally, we have to move the meetings to the second Tuesday because of conflicts.  Our upcoming 2023 meetings are Sept 19, Oct 17, Nov 14 (2nd Tues) and Dec 12 (2nd Tues).
  • These meetings are held in person at the Big Stone Lodge at Dennis Johnston County Park located at 709 Riley Fuzzel Road in Spring.  [See below for specific dates for each month.] This park is just east of Old Town Spring 0.2 miles east of the Hardy Toll Road, before you get to the Spring Creek Bridge.  Click the link to Google Maps above or see additional directions and map at the bottom of this page.  FYI, there are occasional exceptions to the third Tuesday meeting time — when the Big Stone Lodge has other commitments, we generally try to move to the second Tuesday.  Make sure to keep an eye here, on Facebook, or on the newsletter for exact dates & location.

Upcoming Programs & Topics

  • September 2023 – The executive director (Nicole Rogers) of the Saint Frances Wolf Sanctuary to present “History of Wolves and Wolfdogs in Texas”, what exactly a wolfdog is, and how the animals living in their sanctuary were rescued.  The program will be on Tuesday, September 19th, at 6:30 p.m., social time starting at 6 p.m.



    The Saint Francis Wolf Sanctuary is a non-profit organization committed to providing exceptional lifelong sanctuary to non-releasable wolves and wolfdog, while sharing a message of education and conservation about these amazing animals. The sanctuary was founded on October 4, 2002 by Jean LeFevre, who was dedicated to animal conservation and protection when asked to rescue a wolf found in Spring, Texas, which she named “Mystery” since no one knew where the Timberwolf had come from. Saint Francis Wolf Sanctuary has remained the only wolf sanctuary in Texas for the past 20 years. In 2020, the sanctuary relocated to Navasota, TX after securing a 15-acre site in which to build bigger and better animal enclosures and eventually have the ability to rescue up to 36 wolves and wolfdogs at the site. Currently, the sanctuary is home to 6 wolves, 6 wolfdogs, and one dog who desperately believes he is a wolf, so we let him stay!
    Nicole Rogers has served as the Executive Director of the Saint Francis Wolf Sanctuary since 2017. As the sanctuary’s first and only Executive Director, she has passionately led the way for rapid, yet sustainable, growth of the sanctuary over the past 5 years by leveraging her 24 years of diverse nonprofit leadership. Animal welfare is near and dear to Nicole’s heart, so leading SFWS in collaboration with the Board of Directors for the sanctuary is truly a labor of love for her.
  • October 2023 – For the October program for Piney Woods, Paul Gregg will be presenting “Timing & Location when Birding including Lower Rio Grande Valley Bird Photos”. Paul will share strategies on how to be successful birding and ultimately taking photos. He’ll be showing many of his bird photos from his and Carol’s November 2022 trip to various locations in the Rio Grande Valley (RGV) area to search for birds. Birding the Rio Grande Valley is claimed to be where the Lone Star State’s birding is at its best. The area is a major migration corridor and an excellent location for tropical species extending their range beyond Mexico. Paul will show photos of various birds they found during the 4 or 5 days they were there. The program takes place on Tuesday, October 17th, at 6:30 p.m. with social time at 6 p.m.
    Green Jay. Photo by Paul Gregg
    Paul Gregg is an avid, amateur photographer interested mostly in birds, wildlife, and travel/landscapes. He has given presentations to a number of wildlife and photography groups, but has also given basic photography lessons to Lone Star College’s “Adult Lifelong Learning” classes.. He is retired from the Adult Probation Department of Harris Co., TX. Before that, he retired from a little over 29 years in the U. S. Air Force (active and reserve). He’s married to Carol Anderson Gregg, who accompanies him on most of his photography outings.

    The March program will be ONLY in-person and will take place on Tuesday, March 21st, at 6:30 p.m. (snacks & social time at 6:00 p.m.) at Dennis Johnston’s Big Stone Lodge. We have decided beginning February 2023 that we are going back to in-person meetings only. Please join us at the Big Stone Lodge located in Dennis Johnston County Park at 709 Riley Fuzzel Road, Spring, Texas 77373.

    Harris’s Hawk. Photo by Paul Gregg
    Clay-colored Thrush. Photo by Paul Gregg
    Latest rules for bringing snacks: We are still not allowed to bring homemade items to the Big Stone Lodge (unfortunately) for social time. However, store bought items brought by members are welcome and NO LONGER have to be individually wrapped now. Yeah!
    Bird Nerds. Photo by Paul Gregg

    Aplomado Falcon. Photo by Paul Gregg

Past Presentations & Topics of Interest Available Online

  • Why Conservation Matters – The November 2022 program for PWWS was a presentation from Mary Anne (Weber) Morris from the Houston Audubon Society where she took us on an Avian Adventure.  If you missed the presentation, a recording is available online.  [You will be prompted for the passcode of 5vtvDj4? (including the “?”).]  She told us all the reasons that birds matter in our world, why their conservation is so important and how Houston Audubon works for bird conservation on the upper Texas Coast. From eagles to gnatcatchers, we talked bird!  Join Mary Anne Morris, Education Director of HAS, along with two of her feathered friends for an evening for the birds!
    Mary Anne Morris (formerly Mary Anne Weber) the Education Director of Houston Audubon Society since 2000, has been teaching about birds for over 30 years. She travels with “feathered” teaching ambassadors who are the “spokesbirds” for the avian world during the more than 300 programs she delivers annually. She graduated with honors from Virginia Tech with a degree in Forestry and Wildlife Biology and a minor in Geography. She was a full-time educator and rehabilitator for the world renowned Raptor Trust in New Jersey where she cared for over 3,000 injured and/or orphaned birds each year and taught thousands of school children. During an eight year period in Montana, she taught bird conservation, presented teacher workshops on migratory birds at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, and served as summer bird educator at Zoo Montana. She served as President of the Montana Environmental Education Association, and is a member of the North American Association for Environmental Education and the International Association of Avian Trainers and Educators. Mary Anne runs Houston Audubon’s Raptor and Education Center in southeast Houston and became a grandma this spring to a beautiful little girl named Adelina.
  • Mountain Lions in Texas:  If you missed the very interesting November 2021 PWWS Program on the current status of Mountain Lions in Texas, you can view the recorded program at the link below.
    Texas Mountain Lion. Photo from

    We heard all about Mountain Lions in Texas from Monica Morrison, the founder of Texas Native Cats. This is an organization dedicated to providing education, outreach, and advocacy for Texas’ five species of native wild cats: mountain lions, bobcats, ocelots, jaguars, and jaguarundis.

    These beautiful animals persist mostly in west Texas with scattered sightings documented. Texas mountain lions face incredible odds. Hunting and trapping remain unregulated and unlimited as habitat shrinks across the state. They are classified as imperiled (S2)/threatened (S3) by TPWD. Learn how the Texas Native Cats organization is building an effort to help our apex predator, through education, collaboration, and strategic partnerships. Their web site is:

    If you missed the live presentation, you can watch the YouTube recording if you wish.

    Texas Mountain Lion. Photo from

    Texas Mountain Lion. Photo from
  • PWWS monthly meetings take place at the Big Stone Lodge at Dennis Johnston County Park.  Directions to meeting location for Tuesday meetings (709 Riley Fuzzel Road, Spring, Texas):
  • Aldine-Westfield dead ends into Riley Fuzzel Road just northeast of Old Town Spring so there are several ways to get there:

    1. Take the Rayford/Sawdust exit and go east on Rayford Rd. After about 4 miles, take a right (south) onto Grand Parkway Frontage Road / Riley Fuzzel Road.  Drive 1.4 miles to the Dennis Johnston Park (on the right before Hardy Toll Road and after the Spring Creek Bridge).  Turn right into the park & drive all the way around following the curve to the left until you reach the Old Stone Lodge.

    2. From I45, take Spring-Cypress Road exit east and follow it across the railroad tracks to Aldine Westfield passing through Olde Town Spring.  Turn left onto Aldine Westfield and then right onto Riley Fuzzel for a short distance to get to Dennis Johnston Park.  It will be on the left just after Hardy Toll Road and before the Spring Creek Bridge. Turn left into the park & drive all the way around following the curve to the left until you reach the Old Stone Lodge.

    3. From Mercer Arboretum, take Aldine Westfield north until it dead ends into Riley Fuzzel. Turn right on Riley Fuzzel, go under the Hardy Toll Road freeway and turn left into Dennis Johnston Park (before the Spring Creek Bridge).  Drive all the way around following the curve to the left until you reach the Old Stone Lodge.

    Watch for a sign for the Park on the north side of Riley Fuzzel. You will need to drive all the way back to the Big Stone Lodge and the parking next to it.