Rainwater harvesting, turf management training July 12 in Seguin

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

Ward Ling, 979-845-6980, wling@tamu.edu

SEGUIN — Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program will host a residential rainwater harvesting and turf management training with the Geronimo and Alligator Creeks Watershed Partnership on July 12 in Seguin.

The free event will be from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Irma Lewis Seguin Outdoor Learning Center, 1865 U.S. Highway 90 East.

Seating is limited and a free lunch will be provided. Attendees are requested to RSVP to John Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist, College Station, at 979-845-2761 or johnwsmith@tamu.edu.

Rainwater harvesting will be a topic at the Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters training from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 12 at the Lewis Seguin Outdoor Learning Center. (Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service photo)

Coordinators said the purpose of the Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program is to improve and protect surface water quality by enhancing awareness and knowledge of best management practices. At the training, attendees will learn about the design and installation of residential rainwater harvesting systems and appropriate turf and landscape species based on local conditions.

Dr. Becky Grubbs, AgriLife Extension turfgrass specialist, College Station, said management practices such as irrigation delivery equipment, interpreting soil tests and understanding nutrient applications can help reduce runoff and provide additional irrigation water.

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

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

Reagan Hejl, a research associate with Texas A&M AgriLife Research in the soil and crop sciences department, College Station, said participants can have their soil tested as part of the training. Residents can pick up a soil sample bag with sampling instructions from their local AgriLife Extension offices in Guadalupe and Comal counties. Bags are now available for pickup and should be brought to the training with soil samples.

Hejl said soil samples will be submitted to the AgriLife Extension Soil, Water and Forage Testing Lab in College Station for routine analysis, including pH, conductivity, nitrate-nitrogen and other parameters. He said the training will include information on how to understand soil test results and nutrient recommendations so residents can interpret results once the analysis is mailed to them.

The soil sample bag and analysis are free to Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program participants.

Ward Ling, AgriLife Extension program specialist and Geronimo and Alligator Creeks Watershed Partnership coordinator, will discuss updates on watershed protection plan activities to improve and protect water quality in Geronimo and Alligator creeks.

For more information about the Geronimo and Alligator Creeks Watershed Protection Plan, go to http://www.geronimocreek.org/.

Funding for the Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program is provided in part through Clean Water Act grants 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 AgriLife Research, AgriLife Extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University.

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