Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service’s Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program (HLHW) is hosting a residential rainwater harvesting and turf management training with the Cypress Creek Watershed Partnership on Friday, Oct. 13 in Wimberley.
Seating is limited, so attendees are requested to register with HLHW or contact John W. Smith, AgriLife Extension program specialist, College Station, or by calling 979-845-2761.
The Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program aims to improve and protect surface water quality by enhancing awareness and knowledge of best management practices. Attendees will learn about the design and installation of residential rainwater harvesting systems and appropriate turf and landscape species based on local conditions.
Reagan Hejl, research associate in the soil and crop sciences department, 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 office in Blanco County at 101E Cypress, Ste 109, Johnson City or contact by telephone at 830-868-7167 and Hays County at 1253 Civic Center Loop, San Marcos or contact by telephone at 512-393-2120. Bags will be available at least a week before the event and should be turned in at the beginning of the training.
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. The program will review 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.
Meredith Miller, Senior Program Coordinator, The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment and Cypress Creek Watershed Partnership coordinator will discuss updates on activities from the watershed protection plan to improve and protect water quality in Cypress Creek.
For more information about the Cypress Creek Watershed Protection Plan, go to http://www.cypresscreekproject.net/.
Dr. Ben Wherley, associate professor in the Texas A&M University soil and crop sciences department, said management practices such as irrigation delivery equipment, interpreting soil tests and understanding nutrient applications can help reduce runoff and provide additional landscape irrigation water.
Dr. Diane Boellstorff, AgriLife Extension water resource specialist, 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.
Funding for the Healthy Lawns and Healthy Waters Program is provided through a Clean Water Act 319 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.