Riparian, stream ecosystem workshop set for June 1 in Wimberley

Contacts: Nikki Dictson, 979-575-4424, n-dictson@tamu.edu

Katherine Romans, 512-410-9368, katherine@hillcountryalliance.org

Jason Mangold, 512.393.2120jason.mangold@ag.tamu.edu

WIMBERLEY–The Texas Water Resources Institute’s Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program will host a free workshop from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. June 1 in Wimberley for area residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Blanco River and Cypress Creek watershed areas.

A Texas Water Resources Institute riparian and stream ecosystem training will be held  June 1 in Wimberley. (Texas Water Resources Institute photo)

The morning session will be at the Johnson Hall at the Wimberley Community Center, 14068 Ranch Road 12. The afternoon session will include a walk and presentations along the creek.

The workshop is co-hosted by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Hays County, Hill Country Alliance, The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment and the Texas Water Resources Institute.

The program will include a lunchtime presentation. The Hill Country Alliance is providing a catered lunch for $10 or participants may bring their own lunch.

Register for lunch online at http://bit.ly/2pe3IvC or pay cash at the door.

Attendees must RSVP by May 29 to Nikki Dictson at 979-575-4424 or n-dictson@tamu.edu or online at http://nrt.tamu.edu/schedule/.

According to the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority, the Blanco River watershed is approximately 440 square miles in Central Texas, stretching across Kendall, Comal, Blanco and Hays counties. It originates from several springs in Kendall County and flows east until it converges with the San Marcos River.

Cypress Creek flows through unincorporated portions of Hays County and the cities of Wimberley and Woodcreek and flows into the Blanco River.

The riparian workshop is part of the implementation of the Cypress Creek Watershed Protection Plan. The Cypress Creek project was initiated in 2008, when concerned landowners, non-governmental organizations and the Meadows Center received Clean Water Act funding from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to develop a preventive, community-driven watershed protection plan for the creek, according to Meredith Miller, senior program coordinator, watershed services, Meadows Center.

“The Meadows Center provides technical assistance and facilitation to a group of dedicated Cypress Creek stakeholders to develop and implement the watershed protection plan,” Miller said.

Dictson, AgriLife Extension program specialist, 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 proper 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 water 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, The Hill Country Alliance, The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment and Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. The workshop is free 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.

Jason Mangold, AgriLife Extension agent for Hays 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, seven credits from Texas Floodplain Management Association, seven hours for Certified Crop Advisors, seven hours from the 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.

Other upcoming riparian workshops will be in Fredericksburg May 16 and Gatesville June 8. More information on all can be found at http://naturalresourcestraining.tamu.edu/schedule/.

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

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