STONEWALL –The Texas Water Resources Institute’s Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program will host a workshop from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Dec. 5 in Stonewall for area residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Pedernales River watershed.
The free workshop is co-hosted by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Hill Country Alliance, the Texas Nature Conservancy and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Gillespie County.
The morning session will be at the Lyndon B. Johnson Group Dining Hall, 199 State Park Road 52, and the afternoon session will include an outdoor creek-walk along the Pedernales River.
The Pedernales River is approximately 106 miles long and is fed by more than 1,000 springs as it runs through the Hill Country in Central Texas.
Melissa Parker, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s river conservation team leader from Austin, said the river, a tributary of the Colorado, is home to 14 endemic species of fish, including the state fish of Texas, the Guadalupe bass.
“To help ensure that the Pedernales River and its associated ecological, recreational and economic values are available for current and future generations, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has partnered with the Texas Nature Conservancy and the Hill Country Alliance to work with private landowners to promote management practices that result in conservation of this valuable resource,” she said.
Nikki Dictson, Texas Water Resources Institute and AgriLife 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 proper 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, AgriLife Extension, the Hill Country Alliance, Hill Country Land Trust and the Texas Nature Conservancy.
“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.
RSVP is required for the free workshop and a catered lunch will be provided by Clear River Pecan for a cost of $12. Attendees may also elect to bring their own lunch, as the program includes a lunchtime presentation.
Attendees must RSVP by Dec. 2 to Dictson at 979-458-5915 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or online at http://texasriparian.org/trainings/upcoming-training-locations/.
Brad Roeder, AgriLife Extension agent for Gillespie County, said participants will receive a certificate of completion and appropriate continuing education unit certificates at the conclusion of the training.
The workshop offers over five 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 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 texasriparian.org https://www.facebook.com/TexasRiparianAssociation.
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