The Texas Water Resources Institute will host a free Texas Riparian and Stream Ecosystem Education Program from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Oct. 13 in Lampasas for area residents interested in land and water stewardship in the Lampasas River watershed.
The morning session will be at the Texas Farm Bureau, 1793 N. U.S. Highway 281. The afternoon session will include a walk and presentations along the river.
All attendees must RSVP by Oct. 8. RSVP online at tx.ag/LampasasOct13 or by email to Clare.Entwistle@ag.tamu.edu. The program will include a lunchtime presentation, so a catered lunch is being offered for $15. Participants, however, may opt to bring their own lunch.
The workshop is co-hosted locally by Lampasas River Watershed Partnership, Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Temple, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in Lampasas County, the Trinity River Authority and Texas Water Resources Institute.
The Lampasas River rises in eastern Mills County and flows southeast for 75 miles. It passes through Lampasas, Burnet and Bell counties. The Lampasas River watershed is the focus of watershed planning implementation efforts to improve water quality in the river.
“Stakeholders recognize successful implementation of a watershed protection plan requires implementing a variety of management strategies,” said Lisa Prcin, senior research associate with Texas A&M AgriLife center at Temple and Lampasas River watershed coordinator. “The riparian and stream workshop is an educational event supporting this effort.”
Improving the Lampasas River Watershed
Clare Escamilla, Texas Water Resources Institute research associate, San Antonio, said the workshop will focus on the nature and function of stream and riparian zones. It will also address the benefits and economic impacts from properly 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.
“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,” Escamilla said.
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 Riparian Association.
Escamilla 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.
Continuing education opportunities
Heath Lusty, AgriLife Extension agent, Lampasas 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 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, 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.