Rainwater harvesting, turf management training set for Feb. 22-23 in Kyle and San Antonio

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

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

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

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

Lee Marlowe, 210-302-3624, lmarlow@sara-tx.org

Nick Dornak, 512-245-6697, nickdornak@plumcreekwatershed.org

KYLE/SAN ANTONIO – Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program is hosting two residential rainwater harvesting and turf management trainings in Kyle and San Antonio on Feb. 22 and 23, respectively.

Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters programs will be held Feb. 22 and 23 in Kyle and San Antonio, respectively.  (Texas A&M AgriLife Research photo)

Both events are free and open to the public. Participants at either training can also have their soil tested free of charge. Both trainings will review how to assess soil test results and provide nutrient recommendations.

The Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program aims 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.

The first training, in collaboration with the Plum Creek Watershed Partnership, will be from 1-5 p.m. Feb. 22 at the Kyle City Hall, 100 W. Center St. in Kyle.

The second training, in collaboration with the Upper San Antonio River Authority Watershed Partnership, will be from 1-5 p.m. Feb. 23 in the conference room at the  AgriLife Extension office in Bexar County, 3355 Cherry Ridge St. Suite 208 in San Antonio.

Seating is limited, so attendees for either program are requested to register at the Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters website. Those attending the program in Kyle should register at https://hlhw.tamu.edu/workshops/2018/kyle/.

Those planning to attend the San Antonio program should register at https://hlhw.tamu.edu/workshops/2018/san-antonio/.

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 using 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.

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.

Reagan Hejl, 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 Plum Creek Watershed area can pick up a soil sample bag with sampling instructions from the AgriLife Extension office in Hays County at 200 Stillwater Drive, Wimberley, or in Caldwell County at 1403 Blackjack St. Suite B, Lockhart. For more information on that program or how to collect soil samples, contact the office in Hays County at 512-393-2120 or Caldwell County at 512-398-3122.

Residents in the Upper San Antonio River Watershed area can pick up a soil sample bag and instructions at the Agrilife Extension office in Bexar County. For more information on that program or how to collect soil samples, contact the office at 210-631-0400.

At the Kyle program, Nick Dornak, Plum Creek Watershed Partnership coordinator, will discuss updates on watershed protection plan activities to improve and protect water quality in Plum Creek. For more information about the Plum Creek Watershed Protection Plan, go to http://plumcreek.tamu.edu/wpp/.

At the San Antonio program, Lee Marlowe, sustainable landscape ecologist at San Antonio River Authority, will discuss updates on watershed protection plan activities to improve and protect water quality in the San Antonio River.

For more information about the Upper San Antonio River Watershed Protection Plan, go to http://www.bexarfloodfacts.org/watershed_protection_plan/.

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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