Rainwater harvesting, turf management training set for Oct. 12-13 in Hill Country

Contact: John Smith, 979-845-2761, johnwsmith@tamu.edu

Reagan Hejl, 979-845-5252, Reagan.hejl@tamu.edu

Diane Boellstorff, 979-458-3562, dboellstorff@tamu.edu

Ben Wherley, 979-845-1591, b-wherley@tamu.edu

Ryan Bass, 830-248-1538, rbass@ci.boerne.tx.us

Meredith Miller, 512-245-6697, mbmiller@txstate.edu

BOERNE/WIMBERLEY – Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program is hosting two residential rainwater harvesting and turf management trainings in the Texas Hill Country Oct. 12-13.

Rainwater harvesting will be one of the topics addressed at the Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters meetings in the Texas Hill Country. (Photo courtesy Texas Water Resources Institute)

The program goal is to improve and protect surface water quality by enhancing awareness and knowledge of best management practices, coordinators said. Attendees will learn about the design and installation of residential rainwater harvesting systems and appropriate turf and landscape species based on local conditions.

Both events are free and open to the public.

The first training, in collaboration with the Upper Cibolo Creek Watershed Partnership, will be  1-5 p.m. Oct. 12 at the City of Boerne Library, 210 E. Live Oak St. in Boerne.

The second training, in collaboration with the Cypress Creek Watershed Partnership, will be 8 a.m.-noon Oct. 13 at the Wimberley Community Center, 14068 Ranch Road 12 in Wimberley.

Seating is limited, so attendees for either program are requested to register at the Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters website. Those wanting to attend the program in Boerne should register at https://hlhw.tamu.edu/workshops/2017/oct-12-boerne/.

Those wanting to attend the Wimberley program should register at https://hlhw.tamu.edu/workshops/2017/oct-13-wimberley/.

Those interested in either program can also contact John Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist, College Station, at 979-845-2761 or johnwsmith@tamu.edu.

Dr. Ben Wherley, Texas A&M AgriLife Research turfgrass/ecology scientist, College Station, said management practices such as irrigation delivery equipment, interpreting soil tests and understanding nutrient applications can help reduce runoff and provide additional landscape irrigation water.

“These practices can improve understanding of rainwater harvesting and landscape management,” he said.

Understanding proper watering techniques and fertilizer application for lawns can save water and money as well as help improve watershed water quality. (Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo by Kay Ledbetter)

Dr. Diane Boellstorff, AgriLife Extension water resource specialist, College Station, said proper fertilizer application and efficient water irrigation can protect and improve water quality in area creeks and collecting rainwater for lawn and landscape needs reduces stormwater runoff.

Participants at either training can have their soil tested as part of the program. The soil sample bag and analysis are free to Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program participants. At both  trainings there will be a review of how to understand soil test results and nutrient recommendations so residents can interpret results once they receive their analysis.

Reagan Hejl, AgriLife research associate in the soil and crop sciences department, College Station, said soil samples will be submitted to the AgriLife Extension Soil, Water and Forage Testing Lab for routine analysis, including pH, conductivity, nitrate-nitrogen and other parameters.

Residents in the Upper Cibolo Creek Watershed area can pick up a soil sample bag with sampling instructions from the AgriLife Extension office in Kendall County at 210 E. San Antonio, Ste 9, Boerne. For more information on the program or how to collect soil samples, contact the office at 830-249-9343.

At the Boerne program, Ryan Bass, City of Boerne and Upper Cibolo Creek Watershed Partnership coordinator, will discuss updates on watershed protection plan activities to improve and protect water quality in Upper Cibolo Creek. For more information about the Upper Cibolo Creek Watershed Protection Plan, go to http://www.ci.boerne.tx.us/DocumentCenter/View/3690/.

Residents in the Cypress Creek Watershed area can pick up a soil sample bag with sampling instruction from the AgriLife Extension office in Blanco County, 101 E. Cypress, Ste 109, in Johnson City and in Hays County at 1253 Civic Center Loop in San Marcos. For more information on the program or how to collect soil samples, contact the Blanco County office at 830-868-7167 or the Hays County office at 512-393-2120.

At the Wimberley program, Meredith Miller, senior program coordinator for The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment and Cypress Creek Watershed Partnership coordinator, will discuss updates on watershed protection plan activities to improve and protect water quality in Cypress Creek.

For more information about the Cypress Creek Watershed Protection Plan, go to http://www.cypresscreekproject.net/.

Funding for the Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program is provided in part through a Clean Water Act grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The project 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.

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