Program on land, water stewardship in Leon River watershed set for June 8 in Gatesville

Contacts: Nikki Dictson, 979-458-5915,

Robert Ferguson, 254-865-2414,

Andy James, 254-865-2061,

GATESVILLE–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 8 in Gatesville for area residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Leon River watershed.

The morning session will be at the Gatesville Civic Center, 301 Veterans Memorial Drive. The afternoon session will include a walk and presentations along the river.

A meeting on water quality in the Leon River watershed will be held June 8 in Gatesville. (Texas Water Resources Institute photo)

The free workshop is co-hosted locally by the Texas A&M Institute for Renewable Natural Resources and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Coryell County.

The program will include a lunchtime presentation. A catered lunch will be provided for $10, or attendees may bring their own lunch. Register for lunch online at or pay cash at the door.

“Education programs like this lead to informed landowners and members of the public being more inclined to use practices that improve the management of riparian and stream ecosystems,” said Nikki Dictson, AgriLife Extension program specialist for the institute, College Station. . “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.”

All attendees must RSVP by June 2 to Dictson at 979-458-5915 or, or online at

The Leon River, a 190-mile body of water in North Central Texas, is the focus of watershed planning efforts by local stakeholders, said Andy James, AgriLife Extension assistant and Leon River watershed coordinator.

“Stakeholders recognize that successful implementation of a watershed protection plan requires a variety of management strategies,” James said. “The riparian and stream workshop is an educational event supporting this effort.”

Dictson 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 Texas A&M Forest Service and the 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.

Robert Ferguson, AgriLife Extension agent for Coryell 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. Foresters and professional loggers can receive six hours from the Texas Forestry Association and six hours from the Society of American Foresters. 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.

Upcoming riparian trainings, including a training scheduled for June 1 in Wimberley, can be found at

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  or go to Facebook at


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