Contacts: Nikki Dictson, 979-458-4424, firstname.lastname@example.org
Clare Entwistle, 210-277-0292, ext. 110, email@example.com
Nick Dornak, 512-213-7389, firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Zimmerman, 512-398-3122, email@example.com
LOCKHART–The Texas Water Resources Institute’s Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program will host a free workshop from 8:15 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 26 in Lockhart for area residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Plum Creek watershed.
The morning session will be at the Lockhart State Park Recreational Hall, 2012 State Park Road. The afternoon session will include a walk and presentations along the creek.
The workshop is co-hosted locally by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Caldwell County and the Plum Creek Watershed Partnership.
Attendees must RSVP by Sept. 21 to Nikki Dictson at 979-575-4424 or firstname.lastname@example.org or online at http://nrt.tamu.edu/schedule/. Attendees are encouraged to RSVP early as the facility is limited to 50 people.
The program will include a lunchtime presentation. A catered lunch is available for $10 or participants may bring their own lunch.
Register for lunch online at http://bit.ly/2vDFdcO or pay cash at the door.
“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,” said Dictson, AgriLife Extension program specialist for the water institute. “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 and communities.”
According to Nick Dornak, Plum Creek watershed coordinator, the creek has been the focus of watershed planning efforts by watershed stakeholders for about a decade.
“The Plum Creek Watershed Partnership has been working to implement a watershed protection plan developed for Plum Creek in 2008,” Dornak said. “The riparian and stream workshop is another educational event to support this effort.”
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 technical and financial resources are available to prevent degradation while improving water quality.
Workshop presentations will be given by representatives of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, Texas A&M Forest Service, AgriLife Extension and the Plum Creek Watershed Partnership.
Clare Entwistle, research associate at the institute office in San Antonio, said they are able to offer the workshop without cost 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.
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.
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.