Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program will host a residential rainwater harvesting and turf management training Dec. 1 for Gillespie, Kendall and Kerr counties.
The free event will be a hybrid in-person and Zoom online event held from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The in-person training will be at the Boerne city library, 451 N. Main St., Boerne. Registration is required for both in-person and Zoom attendees.
Attendees who RSVP to the event will receive updates, instructions to join the online version of the meeting and materials related to the meeting via email. They can RSVP online at https://tx.ag/HLHWRHDec1 or by contacting John Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist, Bryan-College Station, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 979-204-0573.
The training is offered in collaboration with the Upper Cibolo Creek Watershed Partnerships.
“The Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program aims to improve and protect surface water quality by enhancing awareness and knowledge of best management practices for residential landscapes,” Smith said.
On the agenda
Becky Bowling, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension urban water specialist, Dallas, said attendees will learn about the design and installation of residential rainwater harvesting systems as well as appropriate turf and landscape species based on local conditions and other practices.
“Management practices such as using irrigation delivery equipment, interpreting soil test results and understanding nutrient applications can help reduce runoff and make efficient use of applied landscape irrigation water,” Bowling said.
Dean Minchillo, AgriLife Extension program specialist in Dallas, said the event will cover proper fertilizer application and efficient water irrigation, which can protect and improve water quality in area creeks, as well as collecting rainwater for lawn and landscape needs, which reduces stormwater runoff.
Ryan Bass, watershed coordinator for the Upper Cibolo Creek Watershed, will also discuss updates on watershed protection plan activities to improve and protect water quality in this watershed during the event.
Participants can have their soil tested as part of the training. The soil sample bag and analysis are free to Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program participants.
A soil sample bag with sampling instructions and the Urban and Homeowner Soil Sample Information Form at the AgriLife Extension offices in Gillespie, Kendall or Kerr counties. Bags containing residents’ soil samples should be returned to the location where they were obtained prior to or by one week after the meeting.
Samples will be grouped into one submission and sent to the AgriLife Extension Soil, Water and Forage Testing Lab in Bryan-College Station for routine analysis, including micronutrients, pH, conductivity, nitrate-nitrogen and other parameters.
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.
Funding for the Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program is provided in part by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreements to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 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.