Riparian and stream ecosystem workshop set for May 5 in Pflugerville

Contacts: Nikki Dictson, 979-458-5915, n-dictson@tamu.edu

Roberto Vega, 512-990-6300, RobertoV@pflugervilletx.gov

Daphne Richards, 512-854-9600, DRichards@ag.tamu.edu

PFLUGERVILLE–The Texas Water Resources Institute’s Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program will host a workshop from 8 a.m.to 4 p.m. May 5 in Pflugerville for area residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Gilleland Creek watershed, coordinators said.

The morning session will be at the Pflugerville Public Library, 1008 Pfluger St. West. The afternoon session will include a walk and presentations along the watershed.

The workshop is is co-hosted by the city of Pflugerville and the Texas Water Resources Institute. It is free and open to the public.

The Gilleland Creek watershed area will be the focus of the upcoming Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program May 5 in Pflugerville (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

The Gilleland Creek watershed area will be the focus of the upcoming Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program May 5 at the Pflugerville Public Library (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

Nikki Dictson, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service program specialist for the Texas Water Resources Institute in College Station, said the workshop 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.

“Riparian areas – the green vegetated land area adjacent to the bank of a stream, creek, bayou, river or lake – are unique and important ecosystems that provide many benefits including habitat and forage,” Dictson said. “The goal of the workshop is for participants to better understand riparian and watershed processes, the benefits of healthy riparian areas and what resources are available to prevent degradation while improving quality.”

Workshop presentations will be given by representatives of the Texas Water Resources Institute, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, AgriLife Extension, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas A&M Forest Service, Lower Colorado River Authority Creekside Program and Colorado River Land Trust.

The program will include a lunchtime presentation. A catered sandwich lunch is available to attendees for $10 or they may bring their own lunch. All attendees must RSVP by May 2 to Dictson at 979-458-5915 or n-dictson@tamu.edu, or online at http://texasriparian.org/trainings/upcoming-training-locations/.

Attendees wanting lunch should download the credit card authorization form found on the website and send by email to ndictson@tamu.edu or by mail to Dictson, 1500 Research Parkway, Suite 110, College Station, Texas 77843-2260. They may also mail a check or pay in cash at the event.

Dictson said they are able to offer the workshop without cost thanks to program funding provided through a Clean Water Act nonpoint source grant from the Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“The Gilleland Creek implementation plan includes six management measures or voluntary activities to reduce bacteria, such as restoring and improving riparian buffer zones,” said Roberto Vega, stormwater specialist with the city of Pflugerville. “This workshop is one of many efforts to educate stakeholders and the community about the benefits of a riparian zone and how it will improve water quality.”

Daphne Richards, AgriLife Extension horticultural agent for Travis County, said participants will receive a certificate of completion and appropriate continuing education unit certificates at the conclusion of the training.

The workshop offers many 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; five and a half hours from the Society of American Foresters; seven credits from Texas Floodplain Management Association; seven hours for Certified Crop Advisors; seven hours from Texas Board of Professional Land Surveying: 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.

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

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