Riparian and stream ecosystem workshop set for Oct. 14 in Azle

A Texas Riparian and Ecosystem education Program will be held Oct. 14 in Azle. (Texas Water Resource insutute photo)

A Texas Riparian and Ecosystem Education Program relating to the Eagle Mountain Lake tributary will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 14 in Azle. The free workshop is co-presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Tarrant County and the Tarrant Regional Water District. (Texas Water Resources Institute photo)

AZLE–The Texas Water Resources Institute’s Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program will conduct a workshop from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 14 in Azle for area residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Eagle Mountain Lake watershed.

The free workshop is co-presented by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Tarrant County and the Tarrant Regional Water District.

The morning session will be at the Azle Memorial Library, 333 West Main St. The afternoon session will include an outdoor creek walk and presentations.

Tina Hendon, watershed program manager for Tarrant Regional Water District, said the goal of the district’s watershed program is to protect drinking water supplies through responsible watershed planning and stewardship.

“By increasing knowledge about watershed and stream processes, we can change behaviors and create advocates for responsible land management,” Hendon said.

Eagle Mountain Lake is one of the main water supplies for the north central Texas area. Hendon said water quality testing conducted on the reservoir indicated increasing levels of algae, which can lead to taste and odor problems for drinking water customers. A watershed protection plan is being developed that will help protect reservoir water quality.

Nikki Dictson, Texas Water Resources Institute Extension program specialist and coordinator of the program, said trainings will focus on the nature and function of stream and riparian zones, as well as the benefits and economic impacts from properly functioning riparian systems. A riparian zone is the land area adjacent to the bank of a stream, creek, bayou or river.

Dictson said workshop topics will include riparian and watershed management principles, water quality, riparian vegetation, hindrances to healthy riparian areas, stream processes, management practices and local resources.

Workshop presentations will be given by representatives of the Texas Water Resources Institute, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas A&M Forest Service, AgriLife Extension and the Tarrant Regional Water District.

“The goal is for participants to better understand riparian and watershed processes, see the benefits of healthy riparian areas and know what resources are available to prevent degradation while improving water quality,” Dictson said.

An RSVP is required for the workshop and a catered lunch is offered for $10 cash the day of the event. Attendees may also elect to bring their own lunch as the program includes a lunchtime presentation.

Attendees must RSVP by Oct. 8 to Dictson at 979-458-5915 or n-dictson@tamu.edu, or online at http://texasriparian.org/trainings/.

Laura Miller, AgriLife Extension commercial horticulture agent for Tarrant County, said participants will receive a certificate of completion and appropriate continuing education unit certificates at the conclusion of the training.

The workshop offers several types of continuing education units, including three 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 from the Texas Forestry Association, and 5.5 hours from the Society of American Foresters and six hours for Texas Nutrient Management Planning specialists. The program may also be used for continuing education units for professional engineers.

The riparian education program is managed by the Texas Water Resources Institute, part of Texas A&M AgriLife Research,  AgriLife Extension 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.

For more information, contact Dictson or visit http://texasriparian.org or go to Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/TexasRiparianAssociation.

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