LOCKART–The Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program will present its first workshop in the Plum Creek watershed on June 25 in Lockhart, said Nikki Dictson, Texas Water Resources Institute project manager and program coordinator, College Station.
The no-cost educational program on how streams function and the role of vegetation in properly functioning stream systems will take place from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. at First Lockhart Baptist Church, 315 W. Prairie Lea.
“Riparian education programs like this lead to informed landowners and members of the public more inclined to use practices that improve the management of riparian and stream ecosystems,” Dictson said. “Proper management, protection and restoration of these vital areas directly influences water quality and quantity, plus stabilizes stream banks, and improves fish and aquatic habitats, communities and more.”
The program is managed by the Texas Water Resources Institute, part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University. It is funded through a Clean Water Act grant provided by the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Plum Creek, a 52-mile stream in Central Texas, is a focus of watershed planning efforts by stakeholders. The Plum Creek Watershed Partnership has been working to implement a watershed protection plan developed for Plum Creek in 2008.
The riparian and stream workshop is another educational event to support this effort, said Michael Haynes, AgriLife Extension agent for Caldwell County.
Dictson said the workshop will include indoor classroom presentations by representatives from AgriLife Extension, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas A&M Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service and Guadalupe-Blanco River Land Trust.
The Guadalupe-Blanco River Land Trust will sponsor a catered barbecue lunch from Chisholm Trail Bar-B-Que.
The afternoon will include a field visit to stream sites.
Participants must RSVP by June 18. To register online, go to: http://naturalresourcestraining.tamu.edu/schedule.
The workshop offers three continuing education units — two general and one integrated pest management — for Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders. It offers one unit from the Texas Water Resources Institute, six hours for Texas Nutrient Management Planning specialists, six hours from the Texas Forestry Association, and 4.5 hours from the Society of American Foresters. The program is acceptable for health, safety and welfare credit from the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners and may also be used for continuing education units for professional engineers.